Nursing Mothers Counsel (NMC) was founded in Palo Alto in 1955 by a group of women who breastfed their children at a time when there was a lack of accurate information and support for breastfeeding. These mothers formed an organization to provide free counseling to new moms on a one-to-one basis, offering support for the best and most natural nutrition in an era when formula was the “modern” way to feed babies. NMC continues with the same philosophy today.
The organization was originally called Nursing Mothers Anonymous, but a few years later became known as Nursing Mothers Counsel. The NMC members felt that mothers needed advice and encouragement to learn to breastfeed. They believed it was up to the mother when to stop breastfeeding, and that the mother could easily fit breastfeeding into her active life. At that time obstetricians and pediatricians in the community from San Francisco through Santa Clara Counties turned to NMC for breastfeeding advice. NMC served as their resource until lactation departments became part of hospitals in the late 1980s. Many doctors continue to refer moms to NMC for free breastfeeding support.