About Us

Get to know the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition. Learn about our mission and vision, and meet the leadership team.

Mission

The mission of the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition is to facilitate community efforts to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding as a cultural norm across Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties.

Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition

The Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition is a network of hospitals, health care providers, businesses, and community members working together to build a breastfeeding-friendly culture in the Lehigh Valley.

Connect families with local resources

Advocate for compliance with breastfeeding laws

Promote baby-friendly practices

Educate the community on the benefits of breastfeeding

Support breastfeeding families

Meet the LVBC Board Members

Samina Anthony BS, RN, IBCLC - Chair Person LVBC

Samina is a Registered Nurse and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She enjoys helping parents to have strong, fulfilling breastfeeding relationships with their babies. Having breastfed each of her three children for two years each, she receives immense joy in helping other parents to achieve similar successes.


Samina's career towards IBCLC started 16 years ago when she became a La Leche League leader and volunteered her time helping nursing mothers. During her time with LLL she has volunteered in various countries and helped to establish the first LLL group in Syria. Samina currently works for St. Luke's Nurse-Family Partnership and was recently awarded the "Sam Black Excellence in Community Health & Ambulatory Preventive Medicine" network award for her work helping patients in their breastfeeding journeys.


On a more personal note, Samina lives in Lower Macungie with her husband, three children and their bearded dragon. She likes to spend her free time reading historical fiction, running, and doing cross stitch.

Leila Nassar MA, IBCLC - Co-Chair Person LVBC

Leila is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and a Medical Assistant for Lehigh Valley Physician Group Pediatrics in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has worked as an IBCLC for over 10 years and prior to her IBCLC she worked as a lactation counselor for 18 years. Leila is mainly in a pediatric-based office setting where she sees families after discharge. She has collaborated with multiple personnel within the network to create an outpatient lactation referral work cue and started a breastfeeding support group for mothers and partners in the community.


Leila has been an active member of the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition since its inception in 2011 and has been serving as Co-Chair for the last 3 years. She has a passion for helping parents create a lifelong bond with their baby by sharing breastfeeding knowledge and supporting families who wish to provide human milk for their child. She believes that breastfeeding not only nourishes the baby, but lays the best foundation for the health of both the child and parent. Leila is a first generation American from Beirut, Lebanon, has been married for 28 years to her husband Noble and they had two wonderful children together. Leila is an important lactation resource for Arabic speaking families in the Lehigh Valley and advocates endlessly for equity in lactation care.

Danielle Ochoa BSN, RN - Secretary LVBC

Danielle has been a Registered Nurse since 2016 and has worked in the NICU for the last 3 years. She is passionate about providing lactation education and assistance to parents, especially in the NICU setting. Her personal experiences of breastfeeding her daughter, who was in the NICU, influence her empathetic approach to families in the hospital setting. She is actively involved with LVBC’s community events during National Breastfeeding Month and attends continuing education for lactation. Her desire is to work with community organizations and pursue her IBCLC to improve lactation care for Black and Brown families in the Lehigh Valley. She is currently breastfeeding her 18 month old daughter.


Danielle lives in Allentown with her husband, daughter and cat, enjoys cooking, watching documentaries, and traveling.

Jennifer Abdul-Rahman BSN, RN, IBCLC - Treasurer LVBC

Jennifer has been a Registered Nurse since 2010, she has experience as a hospital based IBCLC and she owns a private practice providing in-home consults and telehealth. She is an active advocate for maternal/child health and infant feeding through La Leche League of Lehigh County and Connecting Leaders Across Borders group through LLL USA. She works with leaders in countries with no established LLL groups to remotely qualify parents for leadership. She is an active member on the LLL USA Code and Ethics Committee, working to ensure that LLL USA upholds the WHO Code and continues to provide unbiased information to parents. She is a member of USLCA. Jennifer is committed to equity, diversity and inclusivity.


Jennifer is passionate in educating parents and advocates for informed decision making. She is passionate about rebuilding generational and cultural knowledge surrounding biological infant feeding practices. She teaches breastfeeding and newborn care classes for parents monthly. She is active with the implementation of the BFHI program and implementing staff competency education through the EMPower program.


Her journey as an IBCLC started shortly after the birth of her second child, realizing that there was a lack of lactation support in her community. She worked through the leadership process for LLL while completing her BSN. Once graduated with her BSN and accredited as a LLL leader she began the path towards board certification as a Lactation Consultant. During this time, she became active with LVBC as part of the steering committee and eventually as Treasurer. Jennifer specializes in helping families dealing with oral restrictions and structural/functional issues related to breastfeeding.


Jennifer enjoys reading research, listening to podcasts and traveling with her husband and three boys, preferably to the beach!

Vision

The vision of the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition is to create a breastfeeding friendly culture and environment among hospitals, healthcare providers, businesses, community members, and local leaders. This in turn will lead to sustainable change in policies focused on promoting breastfeeding support, education, and the de-emphasis of formula-based product promotion.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition has a philosophy of inclusion. We use the terms "breastfeed" and "breastfeeding" as short-hand for "human milk feeding" which includes feeding directly from the breast or chest, feeding at the breast or chest with a supplemental nursing system, and feeding of human milk via bottles, cups, and other devices. LVBC recognizes that feeding with alternatives to human milk is sometimes necessary. We do not tolerate any demeaning or denigrating language regarding its appropriate use. LVBC supports breastfeeding beyond infancy in accordance with the recommendations of the AAP, CDC, PA Dept. of Health, Office of the Surgeon General, WHO, and UNICEF.

As a predominantly white cisgender-led organization, we recognize the privilege we benefit from in the world and in our local institutions. We are committed to being an inclusive and actively anti-racist organization. We consistently seek education, coaching, resources, and guidance from diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals to create an equitable and inclusive environment for our members. We actively uplift voices of those from marginalized and vulnerable populations, and encourage their active participation in our monthly meetings, events and educational opportunities. Our goal is to explore and support the needs of our community through active communication.

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, size, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation. We have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of hate speech or disparaging language toward minority and/or marginalized communities.

Ethics / Code Compliance Statement

LVBC strives to ensure that all education and assistance provided is free from commercial bias and interest. LVBC works in accordance with a Code and Ethics Committee (and other entities as needed) regarding potential activities, partnerships, and policies. These include but are not limited to: International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution compliance and/or general LVBC Conflict Of Interest (COI). Furthermore, LVBC evaluates potential relationships with entities and individuals that could be in conflict with the Code, COI, or LVBC Ethics and subsequently makes recommendations to LVBC board members.

LVBC will not enter into partnership with any entity who knowingly or unknowingly is a Code-violating company, or is in partnership or has links to a Code-violating company. All presenters at conferences are vetted and will not be accepted if they have any conflicts of interest that could create bias in the education being presented.

Become a member

By joining Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition, you show support for the cause of breastfeeding and help us continue and expand our work. Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition is a non-profit, volunteer-only organization. All money goes to support our activities.