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Starting in 1995, a small group of breastfeeding advocates met to discuss the need for coordination of breastfeeding activities in the United States. After conducting an intensive needs assessment, the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA) was formed to address needs not being met by organizations, government agencies, or individuals. The NABA and the Healthy Children Project convened the first National Breastfeeding Leadership Roundtable (NBLR) in January 1996 to determine if another organization was needed to move breastfeeding forward in the U.S. 

It was agreed at that meeting of nineteen breastfeeding leaders to do four things.

  1. To support ongoing breastfeeding projects in the United States;
  2. To develop a strategic plan for breastfeeding in the United States;
  3. To formalize the NBLR into the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC); and
  4. To establish the organization of USBC and its leadership, to continue to convene the NBLR twice a year.

In January 1998, the NBLR voted to declare itself, with the encouragement of Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Audrey Nora, the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Working on the international model, the formation of this committee satisfied part of one of the four operational targets set forth by the 1990 Innocenti Declaration: "to establish a multi-sectoral national breastfeeding committee composed of representatives from relevant government departments, non-governmental organizations, and health professional associations in every country."

In 2014, the Inaugural USBC Legacy Award was established to honor the lifelong achievement of Drs. Audrey Naylor and Ruth Lawrence. Read more about the Legacy Award, and the Drs. Ruth Lawrence & Audrey Naylor Legacy Scholarship to support attendance at the National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference.

USBC Milestones & Convenings

2000: Incorporates in the State of Florida.

2001: Unveils a strategic plan for breastfeeding in the United States: Breastfeeding in the United States: A National Agenda.

2002: Designated as a tax exempt nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

2006: Holds the First National Conference of State Breastfeeding Coalitions.

2008: Holds the Second National Conference of State/Territory Breastfeeding Coalitions.

2009: Develops its first strategic plan, setting goals for 2009-2013.

2010: Holds the Third National Conference of State/Territorial/Tribal Breastfeeding Coalitions.

2011: Identified as a key partner in leading implementation of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding.

2012: Holds the Fourth National Conference of State/Territorial/Tribal Breastfeeding Coalitions.

2014: Holds the Fifth National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference, and unveils its first strategic framework: Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: A Public Health Imperative.

2016: Hosts the Sixth National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference: A New Day: Community Engagement for Equity in the First Food Movement.

2017: Hosts the Seventh National Breastfeeding Coalitions Convening.

2018: In April, the USBC membership approved bylaw amendments by a 2/3 majority vote, expanding membership categories to include State, Territorial, Tribal, Local and Cultural (STLTC) coalitions, and Community Based Organizations (CBOs). In June, USBC hosts the Eighth National Breastfeeding Coalitions Convening: Advancing Public Health Through an Equity-Centered Breastfeeding Movement.

2019: Hosts the Ninth National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening: Taking Equity from Theory to Practice: Advancing Inclusive and Collaborative Breastfeeding Support.

2020: USBC releases "NBCC Reimagined," a series of on-demand webinars with free continuing education.