By Mimi Fetzer, Idaho WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator
and board member of the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition
A new partnership has been formed between the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition and the Department of Health and Welfare’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program. I worked with Maternal and Child Health Section Manager Jacquie Watson to discuss ideas to increase collaboration between the Coalition and MCH. This enabled MCH and WIC to use their sections’ resources to better serve the breastfeeding population and has contributed to the expected success of the second Idaho Breastfeeding Summit in June 28-29.
The Coalition is in final preparations for the Summit, which will be held at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise. Speakers and topics have been selected to build on the momentum of last year’s summit. You can see the agenda here.
Attendees will learn about new research on the infant’s gut microbiome and postpartum mental health. They also will receive updates on Idaho’s breastfeeding policy, and learn about a nationally recognized, Idaho-specific WIC/hospital partnership.
While Idaho has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the nation, moms and health professionals desire more breastfeeding education and stronger partnerships. Idaho WIC survey data shows that WIC moms often want to breastfeed their infants for six months or longer, but they experience various barriers that keep them from achieving that goal.
Nurses, dietitians, lactation counselors, community health care promoters, and medical providers attend this conference to discover what tools are available and combine services to create a more supportive community, while also earning continuing education credits in their respective professions.
The Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition anticipates this summit will be a rejuvenating experience, as often happens when passionate breastfeeding advocates come together!