World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), August 1-7, is about supporting mothers from the beginning of the breastfeeding adventure in order to be successful, and exists to celebrate the signing of the Innocenti Declaration in 1990, a document listing global and governmental goals to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
"Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps - Towards a Baby-Friendly Way"
This year's WBW focus is a baby-friendly hospital initiative, a global effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). "It aims to ensure that all maternities…become centers of breastfeeding support. Hospitals and maternity units set a powerful example for new mothers." Visit tensteps.org for more info and to watch videos of each of the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding.
New mothers-to-be and experienced breastfeeding mothers alike have some great resources right here in Louisville for education and support. Babyology, 3934 Dutchman's Lane, Louisville's own breastfeeding resource center and boutique, is participating in World Breastfeeding Week with some fantastic discounts up to 50% and a special massage giveaway to one very lucky mama. Beyond the boutique, Babyology is staffed with lactation consultants who can help when nursing gets tough in those early days, and will even weigh your baby for free to get an accurate measurement of how much milk baby is consuming, which is sometimes worrisome to new moms.
Breastfeeding laws of the land:
Kentuckiana moms on either side of the river, you are allowed to nurse your baby in any private or public place, meaning no one can ask you to stop nursing or ask you to leave a public place because you're nursing. Kentucky provides an exemption from jury duty breastfeeding mothers, and mothers who bottle-feed breast milk, but does not protect a mother's need to pump milk at her workplace when she has to be separated from her baby. (Note: this doesn't mean you cannot pump at work, you're just not protected by law.) Southern Indiana moms, the law does protect your right to pump milk at work.
Both states' laws are without enforcement provisions, so if you are asked to leave a public place for breastfeeding, you cannot file a charge of discrimination. Even without enforcement provisions, if a woman is harassed for public breastfeeding, she should contact someone higher up at the organization where she was harassed. Occasionally, a state's harassment laws may apply.
What can you do for World Breastfeeding Week in Louisville? If you see a mom nursing her baby, give her a thumbs up and boost her confidence. It's often public judgment or harassment that contributes to breastfeeding failure. And, if you're a nursing mom, or mom-to-be, Babyology has great resources and apparel that will help you make your breastfeeding journey as successful as you want it to be.
Image: Courtesy World Breastfeeding Week