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Community Breastfeeding Initiative


Organizer: Deanne Birkestrand, RN, BSN, IBCLC

CHI Health~Good Samaritan Kearney, Nebraska

Contact Information: 308-865-7689

Community Partners:

  • Victoria du Preez, CLC, Kearney Regional Medical Center & Breastfeeding USA
  • Sarah Hughes, Breastfeeding mother & community advocate
  • Deanne Birkestrand, RN, IBCLC CHI-Good Samaritan Health Systems
  • Jamie Frerichs, Suite Child
  • Mid NE Mobility
  • Lindsey Favinger, RN, CLC Family Practice Associates
  • Jessica Grasc, Chelsea Palu & Adriana Van Pelt, Kearney Public Schools Early Steps
  • Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska:
    • Judy Schultz, WIC Director, CSW, CCAP
    • Leah James, RN, IBCLC /WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator
    • Stacie Burnett, CLC/WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor


  1. A viewing of the documentary film “Milky Way” was held at the World Theater in Kearney on August 2014 to celebrate breastfeeding month.
  2. A Big Latch On Event was held in Kearney in August 2015 to celebrate breastfeed month. 18 people attended the event and 9 babies latched on simultaneously along with 14,889 other babies world-wide.
  3. Really.Really? materials were printed and distributed to Kearney clinics, physicians, and healthcare providers.
  4. Educational materials from Childbirth graphics were purchased and distributed for community breastfeeding classes and education.
  5. A logo for the Kearney Community Breastfeeding Initiative was created and displayed at hosted events and used on printed materials.
  6. Meetings usually planned for Jan-April-July-October.  Contact Deanne Birkestrand for dates and times
  7. 2016: Distributed resource binders to daycare centers, arranged a local Miracle Milk Stroll & Big Latch On, and sponsored a breastfeeding lounge at the Buffalo County Fair.
  8. 2017:  Establish two breastfeeding lounges in Kearney at the Hilltop Mall  & Suite Child downtown,  sponsored a breastfeeding lounge at Buffalo County Fair and arranged a local gathering to participate in the Big Latch On.  Sponsored an educational activity where a local dental hygienist shared information on Orofacial Myeology and how it can start with untreated lip & tongue ties during infancy.  Attendees were given guidance on how to seek out assessment and treatment locally if needed.
  9. Future Plans:
    1. Establish more nursing mother’s rooms throughout community
    2. Host an annual 5k fundraising event
    3. Increase workplace breastfeeding education
    4. Increase healthcare provider breastfeeding education
    5. Conduct annual community needs assessment
    6. Provide scholarships for certified lactation counselor courses
    7. Establish a sponsorship program to help fund KCBI activities
    8. Create our own KCBI website



Want to Join?

Interested community members with the common goal of educating the public and supporting breastfeeding mothers please call or email Deanne Birkestrand to inquire about joining our cause!

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Nebraska Breastfeeding at a Glance

© 2018 Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition