The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition (KBC) was awarded a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment through the Increase the Reach Grant Program to help increase COVID vaccine confidence among breastfeeding parents in Kansas. The KBC will be launching the “Protect Yourself, Protect your Baby” campaign to do just that.
Breastfeeding is truly life-saving, especially during a pandemic. When a breastfeeding parent receives the COVID vaccine, not only do they receive protection from COVID, research shows they pass along this protection to their breastfeeding child through their breast milk. This two-generational protection is at the core of the “Protect Yourself, Protect You Baby” campaign.
“Protect Yourself, Protect Your Baby” will increase vaccine confidence in breastfeeding parents through education, outreach, and partnerships. This will be accomplished through the strategic deployment of an education and community outreach campaign created in collaboration with Black, Indigenous, and Latina breastfeeding parents who overcame their own vaccine hesitancy. Local community events will be held across Kansas to provide parents with opportunities for honest, open, and non-judgmental conversations between families and trusted health care providers.
“Being a mother, especially a breastfeeding mother, can put you in a vulnerable state of mind while trying to make the best decisions for both you and your baby,” said Stephanne Rupnicki, Chair of the KBC Board of Directors. “This campaign will allow the KBC to expand our work to provide accurate information about the COVID vaccine to breastfeeding parents so they can make the best decisions for their family.”
The campaign will be led by a recognized leader in the Black community in Wichita, Joyea Marshall-Crowley, who founded the Wichita Black Breastfeeding Coalition. Marshall-Crowley brings her personal breastfeeding experience to the campaign along with her considerable education, project management, and communications skills. She is an influential leader with significant reach on social media. Her experience and expertise are vital to the campaign’s success as she strengthens community connections and empowers families through shared leadership.