Establishing each new Community Chapter helps Breastfeeding USA further its mission and brings breastfeeding information and support to more mothers across the nation. While Breastfeeding Counselors are not required to open Community Chapters, Breastfeeding USA strongly encourages BCs in communities without a Chapter to open one and offer as much service as they can to local mothers and babies. Once a Breastfeeding Counselor is associated with a Community Chapter, she is listed on the Find a BC page on the website. Every new Breastfeeding Counselor listed on the website helps Breastfeeding USA have a greater presence; the more states and communities listed, the more mothers who can find local support via our website.
Deciding to Open a Chapter
Once a Breastfeeding Counselor is accredited, she may immediately choose to affiliate with an existing Community Chapter or open a new Chapter. Breastfeeding Counselors may also decide to open a Chapter if they move to a new community. Breastfeeding Counselors working together in the same community may decide to create another Chapter in the same area to offer more support meetings and additional services to local mothers. And a Breastfeeding Counselor who has been focusing on committee work could choose to open a Chapter to provide more direct support for local mothers. When considering opening a new Community Chapter, the first decision is what services the Chapter will provide. Breastfeeding Counselors may tailor the Chapter’s support offerings based on their own availability and interests and the needs of the local community. The Breastfeeding Counselors in a Community Chapter can choose to serve mothers through:
- Email support
- Phone support
- Hosting regular face-to-face support meetings
- Home visits
- Any combination of the above
Many mothers benefit from the mother-to-mother support that a regular support meeting can provide. More information about offering meeting services is available in the Community Chapter Meetings section of this BC Guide. A new Community Chapter also needs a name. Geographic names can help local mothers find the Chapter. The Chapter name may also reflect the services offered and may even reflect the “personality” of the Breastfeeding Counselor or participants.
Listing a Community Chapter
Breastfeeding Counselors who have decided to open a new Community Chapter (or affiliate with an existing Chapter) should contact the BC Support Manager. BC Support will send you an email on how to add your chapter to the BC Directory itself on the Find a BC page on the website.
In addition to having a listing on the website, Breastfeeding Counselors may also wish to promote a new Community Chapter in other ways. The Getting the Word Out (Grassroots Publicity) section of this BC Guide provides more ideas for publicizing a new Chapter in the local community. You can also send your chapter link to the social media team for pubilcity. SocialNetworking@breastfeedingusa.org