Nationwide campaign aimed to end discrimination surrounding breastfeeding

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As a mother, breastfeeding is a natural part of having a baby and caring for it but sometimes, mothers are shamed or humiliated if doing so in public.

A new campaign is hoping to put an end to the harassment and discrimination of mothers who breastfeed.

“Breastfeeding is very important because it offers great opportunities for babies to have healthy outcomes and then also great benefits for mothers as well,” said Regina Traylor, director, Maternal Child Health Division at the Ingham County Health Department.

In Michigan, 73.4 percent of mother’s breastfeed however, a total of 81 percent is what the state would prefer.

Traylor explains why that is.

“I think there is a lot of misperceptions…discomfort of breastfeeding in public,” Traylor stated.

To bring attention to breastfeeding, the “Get Real About Breastfeeding” campaign was created.

“With our campaign, we focused on having the women in our community represent ya know positive breastfeeding,” said Traylor.

“Wherever they want to breastfeed is legal, healthy and normal,” WIC Program Coordinator Tracie Bolton mentioned.

The health department set up billboards around town, some saying “Sorry Not Sorry” strictly to prove a point, that being…

“You need to be in people’s faces to actually see breastfeeding and become comfortable with it because it’s not going to go away…so this is normal, get used to it,” stated Traylor.

Because of the constant ridiculing that mother’s receive when breastfeeding in public, an event called the “Nationwide Nurse-In” was held at the Capitol.

Their mission?

To bring attention to breastfeeding laws and end the discrimination.

“I think it’s important just to let other mom’s know especially new mom’s that there are laws in place to protect your right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime, anyhow you need to do it,” said Jess Carey.

“I think it’s important for us to come out here and make sure that mothers know that what they’re doing is important and it’s normal,” Jeni Soeltner mentioned.

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