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.
ADVOCATE, EDUCATE, COLLABORATE
The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition is dedicated to improving infant and maternal health and wellbeing through education, outreach, and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding.
MBC strives to support breastfeeding by building-up community resources and information channels.
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.
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.
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.
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 is the head of the Lactation and Education Department at Anna Jaques Hospital where she currently provides direct patient care in both the fields of Lactation and Labor & Delivery. Tasha changed careers from teaching to nursing in 2008, and received her IBCLC in 2011. She serves as co-chair for the AJH Breastfeeding Task Force and is a Certified Childbirth Educator. Tasha had the lucky experience of living in her spouse Oli’s native land of Iceland for over five years, where she gave birth to both of their children (and breastfed each for over a year), Emiliana (20), and Gabriel (17).
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).
Laurie has been a RN for 31+ years, has worked as staff nurse in Maternal-Child Health for 28 years, and has been an IBCLC for 18 years. She is certified in Childbirth Education and has taught breastfeeding classes. Laurie acts as co-chair of the Breastfeeding Collaborative Task force at LGH and is involved with the Moms Do Care program, working with SUD moms & babies there. Laurie is involved in research at LGH that looks at cultural feeding practices/beliefs in the Cambodian/Vietnamese population in relation to exclusive breastfeeding. Laurie considers it an honor and privilege to provide care to families in her community and is passionate about the work she does everyday.
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 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 ZipMilk.org
Beth is a Lactation Consultant at Tufts Medical Center, supporting breastfeeding/chestfeeding parents and babies, in a perinatal and NICU environment. She served as the Lactation Consultant for Norwood Hospital, responsible for prenatal education, care strategies for inpatients and a post-discharge outpatient clinic and a community-focused breastfeeding support group. She was a member of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Task Force at Norwood Hospital as they prepared for and achieved BFHI designation in 2019. With COVID restrictions in place, she transitioned all education and outpatient support to telehealth delivery.
She is the mother of 3 breastfed children and the grandmother of 2 breastfed grandbabies. She has been supporting breastfeeding/chestfeeding families for over 30 years, has been an IBCLC since 1999 and has worked in both private practice and hospital-based clinical environments.