Five Key Steps to Starting a Breastfeeding Coalition in Your Area

  1. Pick a meeting date, time and place. Invite anyone who you feel desires to support breastfeeding, Public Health representatives, hospital staff, childbirth educators, physicians, parish nurses, lactation counselors, dieititans, La Leche League, parents, grandparents, etc. Also include media and businesses that employ large numbers of women.
  2. At your first meeting conduct a needs assessment. Discuss what support is available in your area and then as a group discuss what you would like to do to improve the local support.  The Iowa Department of Public Health has a formal assessment if you would like help
  3. Establish a vision, write a mission statement, and set up goals. This will serve as the foundational basis for your group. Looking at like-minded groups may help you establish your group's mission and goals.  Contact other local Breastfeeding Coalitions for ideas/support. Their contact information can be found on this website. Your local County Extension Service office can also help.
  4. Establish group management. Members should have a clear idea of their role in the group.  This includes the length of time they need to commit to leadership responsibilities and projects. Have procedures for resolving conflict, recording and distributing minutes, and setting the meeting agenda.
  5. Evaluate. After your group implements a plan or program, evaluate what impact it has made. Learn from your mistakes, celebrate your successes and modify your stategies.