About Us

Our Mission Statement: The Santa Barbara County Breastfeeding Coalition is a group of local medical
professionals, social service providers, childbirth educators, lactation experts, and breastfeeding
advocates committed to the common goal of promoting breastfeeding and supporting mothers in
our community.

The Santa Barbara County Breastfeeding Coalition is a strong, cohesive group of health
professionals representing many organizations throughout the county. The Coalition’s goal is
to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates for mothers who are the least likely to
breastfeed, and to coordinate lactation services within Santa Barbara County. The Coalition is
divided into two groups—North and South County. The former was established in November
1998 while the latter was created in January 1999. Both groups have a combined total of 60 strong
members representing 40 agencies and programs with about 75% that are bilingual / bicultural.

Past accomplishments and services include: organizing lactation educator courses for health
professionals, symposiums, doctor office inservices, lunch and learns, infant feeding survey,
development of a breastfeeding resource guide, assisting businesses to become breastfeeding
friendly worksites, advocacy, breastfeeding workshops for child care providers, and
breastfeeding awareness month activities. The Breastfeeding Coalition currently conducts
biannual symposiums, bimonthly meetings, advocacy work, and “Breastfeeding Awareness
Month” activities including the annual Pediatrician of the year award in August.

Meg Beard MPH, MCHES, RDN, IBCLC is the Breastfeeding Coalition Chair for the last 17
years, grant writer, and manager. She is also the Breastfeeding Coordinator for WIC for the
last 18 years. She is very aware of the breastfeeding needs of the County. She holds a
double masters degree (MPH) in Public Health Nutrition and Health Promotion & Education,
is a Registered Dietitian Nutricionist (RDN), and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant