Find a model, wear a button, enter a drawing, post photo on Facebook, talk it up!
For Immediate Release: August 1, 2011
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – Life-sized, stand-up images of nursing mothers will start showing up at businesses and shops, libraries and parks, hospitals and other public places starting the first week of August – World Breastfeeding Week – and continuing throughout the month.
“These women can’t talk to you, but they can help you start a conversation about how we can support breastfeeding in our communities,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “Breastfeeding gives babies the healthiest start in life, and what’s good for mothers and babies is good for public health.”
“Breastfeeding has always been the most natural choice for me,” said Genie Henry of Burlington, one of the four Vermont moms who agreed to stand as a breastfeeding model with her baby, Gabriella. “I have been able to breastfeed my third child much longer than the previous two mainly because of the better support in my work environment. The knowledge I gained about how important breastfeeding is for my health and for my baby’s health, the unconditional support of my husband, and the guidance of my care provider have also been factors. Gabriella just turned 2.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until babies are at least 12 months old. Most Vermont mothers breastfeed their newborns, but only 22 percent are still exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months of age.
Mothers report that they don’t breastfeed as long as they would like. Active support from family and friends, communities, employers, health care providers and government policies makes a difference, and helps mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Everyone can help change the landscape to support breastfeeding:
Report sightings. Look for these life-size cardboard models of women breastfeeding in public places. There are 48 that will be appearing around the state, placed by your local Health Department office. Each model will be wearing a “flash bag” filled with message buttons and postcards.
Wear a button. Choose a message button from the bag and show your support.
Enter the drawing. Fill out the postcard, add a stamp and mail it to the Health Department to enter a drawing for prizes.
Take a photo. Like us on Facebook, take a photo with her and share it on our Facebook page – and yours. Find our link at: healthvermont.gov.
Talk it up. Start a conversation about breastfeeding with people in your community. Support breastfeeding moms wherever they are.
Learn more. Visit http://HealthVermont.gov/YouCanDoIt to see photos of the models and find out more about our Change the Landscape campaign, the importance of breastfeeding and health, and to nominate a breastfeeding friendly employe.