HCAT Grants Spotlight - Nurture's #RVAbreastfeeds : VFHY

#RVAbreastfeeds is a Healthy Communities Action Team in Central Virginia that seeks to reduce childhood obesity through policy, infrastructure, and environmental changes and to promote a breastfeeding friendly community.

#RVAbreastfeeds has built local capacity for lactation support among communities of color by collaborating with hospitals and agencies to pilot peer lactation support programming. Additionally, the coalition conducted a community needs assessment utilizing an ecological model centering pregnant/postpartum parents from diverse backgrounds to identify opportunities to improve the breastfeeding environment. The results of the needs assessment guided their work.

In an effort to reach underserved women, coalition staff utilized a unique social media campaign, entitled Breastfeeding Real Talk. These Facebook live conversations featured interviews with policy makers and advocates, including Senator Jennifer McClellan, and reached over 2,100 viewers. Towards the end of Fiscal Year 2020, #RVAbreastfeeds pivoted their work to respond to the needs of the community during the pandemic. In April of 2020, they conducted an online COVID-19 survey to gather data about the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant and postpartum populations. The survey data was used to create a series of five webinars that either shared information from the survey, or addressed themes emerging from the survey.

The webinar series explored the impact of COVID-19 on breastfeeding in the metro-Richmond area as well as other topics related to pregnancy, postpartum, maternal-child health and birth justice.

The work of #RVAbreastfeeds has been highlighted in multiple publications, at national and international conferences and is featured in an article in the Journal of Human Lactation Special Issue on Social Justice.

#RVAbreastfeeds is currently partnering with the City of Richmond toward achieving the Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community (BFFC) designation as outlined in the 10-step framework developed by Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.

This HCAT grants spotlight was originally published in the 2020 Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth Annual Report. 

About VFHY’s HCAT Grants

These Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth grants provide infrastructure support to build and sustain Healthy Communities Action Teams (HCATs). These community collaboratives drive long-term policy, systems and environmental (PSE) changes that support at least one of eight healthy behaviors that prevent and reduce childhood obesity 

  1. Breastfeeding 
  2. Eating More Fruits and Veggies 
  3. Reducing Consumption of Energy-Dense Foods 
  4. Moving More 
  5. Decreasing Screen Time 
  6. Getting Enough Sleep 
  7. Reducing Stress with Increased Mindfulness 
  8. Decreasing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages 

Explore current HCAT grant opportunities to prevent childhood obesity below. Before submitting a proposal, applicants must read the RFP Instructions and attend one of the three mandatory Pre-Proposal Conferences.

Grant Funding Available

Online proposals are due by Monday, October 17, 2022 (5:00 pm ET)  

Learn more