We all know mama’s need help with, well, everything from dinner and laundry to dishes and homework and so much in between. That’s why I thought the Reno Moms would be interested in a new program from the Nevada Women, Infants and Children that has been launched here in Reno and all over the state. WIC’s “Here – There – Everywhere” breastfeeding awareness campaign is educating the public about ways to support breastfeeding moms and babies in Nevada.
I sat down with Lindsey Dermid-Gray, the State Breastfeeding Coordinator at WIC recently to talk about this program. Lindsey explained how WIC provides optimal nutrition to pregnant moms, breastfeeding moms and infants and children. One way WIC achieves this is by educating and supporting moms about breastfeeding beginning prenatally and then serving as the first line of defense for questions and help if problems arrive with breastfeeding, which is so common for new moms.
Lindsey shared with me that in Nevada, a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby, anytime and anywhere she needs to is protected by law (NRS 201.232), which led to establishing the Here – There – Everywhere campaign.
“Building this friendly community of support and continuing to educate the public about our state’s law is a way to help encourage more women to breastfeed their babies, and breastfeed for a longer duration,” Lindsey explained.
Working with the Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition, a group made up of current and former breastfeeding moms, hospital nurses, lactation consultants, community members, the WIC staff is encouraging Nevada businesses to learn about the Breastfeeding Welcomed Here pledge as part of the campaign.
Currently, 80 businesses across the state have taken the pledge to show their support to be breastfeeding friendly. This includes many favorite Reno eateries like Batch Cupcakery, Daughter’s Café, Great Full Gardens and Walden’s Coffee House. Businesses of all types have taken the pledge from medical offices such as Family First Chiropractic, Sierra Therapy Group and Advanced Pediatric Therapies; hair salons including Jensen & Company and CUTZ Unlimited; and everything in-between — Grassroots Bookstore, Great Basin Community Food Co Op, Heart and Sole Dance Academy and the Discovery Museum. These are just some of the growing list of places that have taken the pledge to make breastfeeding moms feel welcomed to breastfeed whenever they need to. A full list can be found at the Nevadabreastfeeds.org. Once a business takes the pledge, WIC helps to educate their staff on how to handle questions or comments about a mom breastfeeding in public and create an environment where breastfeeding mothers receive a welcoming attitude from staff, management and other patrons while breastfeeding.
On the Breastfeeding Welcomed Here – Nevada Facebook page you can see some of the businesses who have signed up, share supportive stories and check out the latest research and breastfeeding and nutrition and there is a side order of funny memes.
For one-on-one help or advice, every WIC clinic in our state has trained lactation professionals who can provide help for issues as they present themselves. They even offer breast pumps for moms who are separated from their infant, either for health reasons or because of work or school. They also have tons of educational materials including Introduction to Solids, How to Bottle Feed, and more both in their clinics and on their website. Many of the different individual WIC clinics across the state have their own Facebook pages as well.
On the Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition website, you can sign up for their newsletter and get updates on different events and monthly meetings to help moms with questions they might have and the support they need.
According to Lindsey, breastfeeding activist Kimberly Seals Allers often makes the statement that women don’t breastfeed, cultures do. WIC is creating the culture by developing welcoming communities to breastfeeding here in Nevada while supporting moms in their breastfeeding efforts.