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Strategic Alliance  

Action Alert
February 22, 2011

221 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Tel: 510.444.7738
Fax: 510.663.1280



Obama and Palin Show That Breastfeeding Bridges Party Lines

In recent weeks, breastfeeding has become a significant tenet of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. The First Lady has been clear about the benefits of breastfeeding, highlighting its ability to protect against chronic disease. Now, however, the media and blogosphere are reporting critical comments from both Sarah Palin and Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann about the First Lady's breastfeeding campaign.

In a Huffington Post column yesterday, Melissa Bartick of Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and Strategic Alliance Steering Committee member Laurie True of the California WIC Association explain that breastfeeding crosses party lines. The column makes clear that despite the contentious commentary, Palin and Bachmann do recognize the importance of breastfeeding; as governor, Palin had called for increased support for nursing moms, and both women breastfed their own children. So what’s the real story here? There is much more work to be done to create environments that support breastfeeding for all mothers.

To read the full column, click here.

Strategic Alliance encourages Rapid Responders to read and “like” this story on Huffington Post, share this column widely amongst your networks, and respond to media coverage on this issue.

Here are some talking points that highlight the need for creating environments that support breastfeeding;
and, for a more in-depth look at how to frame this important issue in the media, visit Making the Case for Breastfeeding: The Health Argument Isn’t Enough.

  • Mothers can’t do it alone. Breastfeeding is one of the most important preventive care measures for children’s health, protecting against infections and chronic disease, and helping to build healthy immune systems. But as Obama, Palin, and Bachmann – all mothers who breastfed – show, mothers can’t do it alone. They benefited from environments that promoted children’s health from the start. Fostering communities and institutions that are supportive of breastfeeding, including baby-friendly hospitals and flexible work environments that allow babies at work or the use of a breast pump to maintain milk supply, are all critical components if we are to give all mothers the chance to successfully breastfeed.

Share your advocacy efforts with us!  Did you write a letter or pitch a story in support of breastfeeding? Send us a quick note so we can make sure your efforts are recognized.



The Strategic Alliance is reframing the debate on nutrition and physical activity away from a focus solely on individual choice and lifestyle towards one of environmental influences and corporate and government responsibility. Current Steering Committee members are: California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program (CANFit), California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) , California Project LEAN, California WIC Association (CWA), Child Care Food Program Roundtable, Latino Health Access, Partnership for the Public's Health, PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Samuels & Associates, and Public Health Law and Policy.


The Strategic Alliance is currently engaged in building a broad and diverse statewide membership. To join or for more information, please visit us on the Web, www.eatbettermovemore.org, or contact Phebe Gibson at 510.444.7738 or Phebe@preventioninstitute.org. And even if you're already a member, please forward this message on to your colleagues so we can continue to strengthen our coalition. Thank you!


The Strategic Alliance is reframing the debate on nutrition and

physical activity - from a focus solely on individual choice and lifestyle,

towards one of environmental influences and corporate and government responsibility.


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