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 lactation consultants, representatives of WIC, St. Peters Health Partners, NYS Department of Health, Cornell Cooperative Extension and local prenatal educators.
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 2019-2025 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 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. 
Public Health Planner
Rensselaer County Department of Health
Email: Leandra Kneeland
Upcoming Coalition Meetings
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 about Baby Cafe
State Legislation for Breastfeeding Friendly Communities
- Guidelines Regarding the Rights of Nursing Mothers to Express Breast Milk in Work Place
- Guide to Breastfeeding Employees in NYS
- NYS Paid Family Leave
- NYS Medicaid Coverage of Breast Pumps
- NYS Donor Milk
Federal Legislation for Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace
- Workplace Support in Federal Law
- Federal Break Time for Nursing Mother
- Working Mother Breastfeeding Resources
- Moms Pump Here (Locations of Lactation Rooms)
- Breastfeeding Location Requirements and Suggestions
- Breastfeeding Data and Facts1
- NYS Department of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)