CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MISSISSIPPI BREASTFEEDING COALITION
This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition (MSBFC) in Jackson, MS! MSBFC has been a great partner of CHAMPS’ from the beginning. When CHAMPS first started, MSBFC sent out our original information to their membership to get the word out, and they have promoted virtually everything we have done!
MSBFC is one of the main, centralized places in MS pooling resources and supporting breastfeeding. Their current 2016- 2020 strategic planning goals include: (1) Provide and promote education of health providers to advance Baby-Friendly® Initiatives in Mississippi. (2) Increase the number of skilled lactation professionals in the state. (3) Create a culture of breastfeeding in Mississippi. (4) Strengthen the MSBFC and expand its reach.
MSBFC is a 501c3 and was formed in 1997. It has a wonderful website with tips and resources for parents, providers, and workplaces. It is advocacy-driven, and lists the relevant breastfeeding laws in MS so all parties can be informed.
Jameshyia B. Thompson, PhD, RDN, LD, President of MSBFC and Deputy Bureau Director for the MS State Department of Health WIC Program, shares her vision for breastfeeding in MS: “It is my vision to see breastfeeding rates in Mississippi improve and breastfeeding become the norm for infant and child feeding. It is my dream to walk in any business or restaurant on any given day or time and not be surprised to see a mother breastfeeding. This represents a community where breastfeeding is accepted as the norm and mothers can be at ease knowing they are doing what is best for their babies.”
She has been excited to see the increase in the number of breastfeeding professionals in MS, and says that access to IBCLCs and CLCs is imperative for mothers to receive the breastfeeding support they need.
Jameshyia invites Coalition and community members to attend MSBFC meetings, held every second Thursday (location rotates between various hospitals and organizations in the Jackson area). At these meetings, Coalition and community members work toward strategic goals, gather information regarding breastfeeding activities happening in and out of the state of MS, network with breastfeeding advocates, and receive education and training on current issues related to breastfeeding.
She also invites community members to consider becoming Coalition members. “We need the support of every person in the state of Mississippi,” Jameshyia says. “Becoming a member is easy. Please visit our website at http://msbfc.org and join by selecting the Membership icon.”
Congratulations, MSBFC! It is great to be partnering with you!