EST. 1996

Our Story

The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition (MBC) was founded May, 1999 as a non-profit organization. It arose out of a need for a statewide coalition that would coordinate the efforts of many diverse breastfeeding advocacy groups in the Commonwealth. We are a 501c(3) organization.



The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition is dedicated to improving infant and maternal health and well-being through education, outreach, and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding.

Major Activities

MBC strives to support breastfeeding by building-up community resources and information channels.

Assist health care providers

We assist health care providers in their support and promotion of breastfeeding. Our goal is to help providers recognize, appreciate, and solve breastfeeding problems should they occur. All of our materials are evidence-based, are free from commercial bias, and can be downloaded from our website at no cost. Our Breastfeeding in the Bay State Conference is held every September where current trends in breastfeeding and evidenced based recommendations are presented to healthcare providers and breastfeeding professionals/community activists across the state.

Implement and encourage advocacy and collaboration

We implement and encourage advocacy and collaboration between breastfeeding initiatives, organizations, and activities happening throughout Massachusetts. Our calendar of events, list of collaborate associations, list of MBC supporters, and Baby-Friendly Hospital information is updated regularly.


We connect breastfeeding families to breastfeeding support. ZipMilk provides listings for breastfeeding resources sorted by ZIP Code.

Improve breastfeeding culture

We improve breastfeeding culture. MBC provides information on workplace and public space support for breastfeeding and how to focus on improving breastfeeding equality in Massachusetts. MBC helps to connect employers, community members, and breastfeeding families to information about breastfeeding in the workplace, breastfeeding in public, racial and cultural breastfeeding topics, and related breastfeeding legislation.

Board of Directors

Emily Sylvester, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLC


Emily Sylvester is a pediatric dietitian and IBCLC with at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts and at Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Brockton, Massachusetts. In 2018, Emily was awarded the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Emily is the proud mother of 4 and 7 year old girls and a 2 year old boy.

Tasha Gunnarsson, RN, IBCLC

Board Member

Tasha leads the Lactation and Education Department at Anna Jaques Hospital, where she provides direct lactation care in both the inpatient and the outpatient settings. Tasha‘s experiences of childbirth and nurturing young children while living abroad in her spouse Oli’s native land of Iceland fueled her interests in birth and lactation, including the deep cultural influences surrounding these events. She is a proud parent to their fun, smart, and blossoming adult children, Emiliana and Gabriel. Tasha’s career has taken her from elementary school teacher, to labor & delivery nurse, to her current career as an RN IBCLC. She serves as the Co-Chair for the AJH Breastfeeding Task Force, is a certified childbirth educator, is a member of the AJH DEI Committee, and is a Co-Chair of MBC’s DRIVE Committee.

Ellen Tolan, RD, LDN, IBCLC

Ellen Tolan, RD, LDN, IBCLC


Ellen is the WIC State Breastfeeding Coordinator at The Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She has been with the Massachusetts WIC program since 1994 and is a Registered Dietitian as well as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ellen lives on the North Shore with her husband and two sons (both fully breastfed over a year, while working full time for WIC).

Moryn Mendoza, MA, IBCLC

Moryn Mendoza, MA, IBCLC

Board Member

Moryn Mendoza is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in the Western Massachusetts region. She is currently working as a Regional IBCLC Specialist with the Massachusetts WIC Program. Moryn’s journey began with the birth of her first son in 2013 and her positive breastfeeding experience led her to want to support local mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals. Over the last 7 years she has given birth to 2 more boys while increasing her knowledge and qualifications to become both a Certified Lactation Counselor in 2017 and an IBCLC in 2019. Moryn holds a BA in Latino and Latin American Politics from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in Human Resource Development from American International College. She is a bicultural first-generation Venezuelan American and is fluent in Spanish.

Shenell Ford, CLC, IBCLC

Shenell Ford, CLC, IBCLC

Board Member

Shenell Remani Ford, 30, was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She attended Springfield public schools and received her BS in Public Health from Temple University, with plans to pursue her MPH with a Maternal Child Health focus. Her greatest joy are her sons, Jeyceir and Jezari, whom she exclusively breastfed for 14 and 15 months respectively. Shenell is currently the Research Associate Lactation Consultant on the New Moms Wellness Study of UMASS Amherst, and also serves as Chair of SDHHS Maternal Child Health Commission. She is a former Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at Tapestry North WIC, where she nurtured her love of lactation. Shenell obtained her CLC credential in Aug 2015 and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in January 2019. She is honored to be on the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition board of directors, member of USBCs CRASH Committee, and a National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC) member. Shenell is an inspired and passionate advocate for prenatal and lactating families. She is committed to increasing the diversity of and access to quality lactation education and support, and empowering families in her community and across the nation.

Jessica Pimentel, CLC, CBS


Jessica is the proud mother of 3 young boys. She was previously a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor with WIC and is an active member of her community along with her husband. Jessica has a very strong focus on equity in the lactation field, breastfeeding in the workplace, and support for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ families. She currently heads the D.R.I.V.E (Diversity, Representation, Inclusivity, Vision, Equity) subcommittee and is the Massachusetts state administrator for

Brittany Regan Fisher, M.Ed., CLC

Brittany Regan Fisher, M.Ed., CLC

Board Member