Rensselaer County Breastfeeding Coalition
Our mission is to increase breastfeeding rates, exclusivity and duration for mothers and children in Rensselaer County and New York State. To support breastfeeding in our community we aim to decrease barriers for mothers, increase the knowledge and acceptance of residents and business owners, and expand the number of worksites with policies and accommodations for breastfeeding employees.
Everyone is welcome! We would like a diverse array of backgrounds and opinions represented. Our current members include:
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Lactation consultants
- Local prenatal educators
- NY State Department of Health (NYSDOH)
- Representatives of WIC
- St. Peters Health Partners
Breastfeeding in Rensselaer County
Breastfeeding is considered to be the ideal source of nutrition for infants. Breastfed infants are less likely to contract diseases and infections, such as diabetes, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), childhood obesity and allergies .
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months . The Healthy People 2020 target is for 25.5% of infants to be exclusively breastfed at 6 months  and the 2019 to 2025 New York State Prevention Agenda has set a goal to increase the rate of WIC participants exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months to 45.5% .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 23.2% of infants in New York State are exclusively breastfed through their first 6 months of life  In Rensselaer County, 19.1% of mothers receiving WIC are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months. 
-  NYSDOH Breastfeeding Promotion, Protection and Support
-  American Academy of Pediatrics - Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk (PDF)
-  U.S. Breastfeeding Committee - Healthy People 2020: Breastfeeding Objectives
-  NYSDOH 2019 to 2024 Prevention Agenda, Focus Area 2: Perinatal and Infant Health
-  CDC Rates of Any and Exclusive Breastfeeding by State Among Children Born in 2016
-  NYSDOH Community Health Indicator Reports: 2015 to 2017 Percentage of WIC Infants Breastfeeding at Least 6 Months
Local Breastfeeding Support: SPHP Baby Cafés
Baby Cafés are a private space where pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their supporters can come to receive free one-on-one breastfeeding assistance from certified lactation specialists and peer counselors. Baby Cafés offer support on all aspects of breastfeeding, from prenatal to weaning, as well as assistance with pumping and maintaining supply if moms return to work outside the home
No appointment is needed! The cafés offer a play area for accompanying siblings. Learn more by visiting the Baby Café USA website.