Health Promotion, (509) 962-7515

The Kittitas County Breastfeeding Coalition

Our Vision:
Kittitas County aspires to be the most breastfeeding supportive county in Washington.

Our Mission:
The Kittitas County Breastfeeding Coalition promotes, protects, and supports breastfeeding for lifelong individual, family, and community health.

The Kittitas County Breastfeeding Coalition (KCBC) promotes breastfeeding in every stage and environment. This includes activities such as World Breastfeeding Week events, operating baby feeding stations at community events, and providing opportunities to learn more about breastfeeding through academic and community presentations. KCPHD and KCBC collaborate to protect breastfeeding and pumping mothers at home, in the workplace, and in public by offering information, resources, and referrals on breastfeeding laws and protections, in addition to support and guidance for workplaces looking to increase support of breastfeeding and pumping employees.

KCBC supports parents wherever their breastfeeding journey takes them. All families are seen and heard.

Membership and Meetings

KCBC was created in 2013 and is facilitated by the Kittitas County Public Health Department through funding from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. The group is comprised of representatives from many sectors, including:

  • Community members
  • Kittitas Valley Healthcare
  • Central Washington University
  • Kittitas County Public Health Department
  • Community Health of Central Washington’s WIC program
  • Local breastfeeding support groups and childbirth professionals

The coalition is open to anyone who would like to participate. Monthly meetings occur on the third Wednesday of every month online from 9:00 am to 10:30 am. Please call the Kittitas County Public Health Department for meeting information. Meeting dates/times are occasionally adjusted due to holidays and other unexpected scheduling reasons.

Breastfeeding Resource Guide

Each year, the Kittitas County Breastfeeding Coalition compiles a resource guide outlining all of the free breastfeeding resources in our community. Links to the guide can be found below, or for free hard copies please contact the Public Health Department.

Kittitas Valley Healthcare Resources

The Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits for Babies

  • Easier digestion
  • Reduced risk of asthma, obesity, allergies, Type 2 diabetes
  • Fewer ear and respiratory infections
  • Lower risk for Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Cognitive and motor development

Benefits for Mothers

  • Reduced postpartum hemorrhage, if initiated within 30 minutes of birth
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancers
  • Assists in birth spacing
  • Psychosocial benefits of bonding for mother-infant dyads

Workplace Support for Breastfeeding

Milk Expression Breaks
For those who need to breastfeed or pump while at work, employers will allow employees to use normal break and mealtimes or to negotiate time frames with employers.

A Place to Express Milk
A private, sanitary room will be made available to breastfeed employees to express milk. It should be located near a sink with running water for washing hands and rinsing out breast pump parts, and have an electrical outlet.

Breastfeeding Equipment
Access to personal equipment at your place of employment makes expressing milk much easier and less stressful while working. Available storage space for equipment, as well as designated areas to store breast milk will also improve workplace wellness for a breastfeeding parent.

Milk Expression in the Workplace Webinar
Presentation Slides

Rebekah Moon and Cambron Walker are Health Promotion Specialists with the Kittitas County Public Health Department. The Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) and Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) worked together in getting the Accommodation for Breastfeeding Employees Policy implemented at KVH. This work was supported by the Local Strategies for Physical Activity and Nutrition (LSPAN) grant awarded to KCPHD by the Washington State Department of Health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70% of employed mothers with children less than 3 years old work full-time. Working outside the home is related to a shorter time breastfeeding. Federal and Washington State laws say certain employers must provide breastfeeding employees with breaks and space for expressing milk. In Kittitas County, some workplaces, like KVH, have increased support for breastfeeding parents.

Please see Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces Project page for more information and the "Making Milk Expression at Work, Work!" Social Media Toolkit.

Breastfeeding in the Community

Breastfeeding in Public
It is the right of a mother to breastfeed her child in any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement (RCW 49.60.030)

Breastfeeding is NOT Indecent Exposure
The act of breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure (RCW 9A.88.010)

Breastfeeding Discrimination is Illegal
It shall be an unfair practice for any person or the person's agent or employee to commit an act which directly or indirectly results in any distinction, restriction, or discrimination [based on the] status as a mother breastfeeding her child (RCW 49.60.215)

For more information about Washington’s breastfeeding related laws, please visit:
Washington State Legislature Human Rights Commission

Suggested Reading

  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by Diane Wiessinger & Diana West
  • The Nursing Mother’s Companion, by Kathleen Huggins
  • Making More Milk, by Diana West & Lisa Marasco
  • Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding, by Jack Newman & Teresa Pitman
  • Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy & Beyond, by Hilary Flower

Additional Resources