January 22, 2018
Be on the Lookout for BACC
Breastfeeding Advocates of Cowley County (BACC) is a coalition formed in 2011 in response to Vision 20/20, Cowley County’s strategic plan. The coalition works to address childhood health issues related to early nutrition. Since its formation, the coalition has worked with local partners on a variety of initiatives, including High 5 for Mom and Baby, Breastfeeding Welcome Here, Communities Supporting Breastfeeding and the Kansas Business Case for Breastfeeding initiative among local employers.
The coalition has been awarded funding from the United Methodist Healthy Ministry Fund - Impact Funding Team. The “On the Go Breastfeeding” project takes breastfeeding resources to community events to support moms and babies who are on the go. The goal is to help community organizers designate breastfeeding accommodations at events where seating and shelter is limited.
“One of the focuses of our coalition is to remove obstacles to breastfeeding,” said William Newton Hospital Obstetrics Nursing Supervisor Debbie Marrs, RN, SANE-A. “It makes it easier to attend community functions when moms know there is a quiet, clean, and comfortable space to nurse, pump and change diapers.”
Breastfeeding Advocates of Cowley County worked with organizers of the Kansas Sampler Festival, held Winfield in 2016 and 2017, to add a Family Services tent to the weekend festival. BACC volunteers equipped the tent with comfortable chairs, a diaper changing table and electrical hookup. Over 60 families were served and the program book and map included information about this family area.
BACC partnered with the Cowley County Fair Board and Flint Hills RV to offer the Guest Services RV at the Cowley County Fair. The unit was staffed by our volunteers from 6-11 p.m. each evening of the fair.
“For the first time in 2017, our group hosted a Guest Services RV at Arkalalah,” Marrs said. “It provided a comfortable space located in the heart of festival activities.”
BACC has coalition members at William Newton Hospital, City-County Health Department, Sunflower OB-GYN, Cowley Health Center, K-State Research & Extension, and Family Life Services among others. BACC members encourage the public to consider designating space for breastfeeding families when planning events.
Breastfeeding support is also available at the William Newton Hospital Family Birthing Center or the City-Cowley Health Department.
Editor's Note: This article was submitted by William Newton Hospital for the Cowley CourierTraveler Regional Medical Guide published January 27, 2018.