Community Breastfeeding Awards Announced

The third annual Community Breastfeeding Promotion Awards will be held tonight Thursday, October 7 at 6 PM at the Urban League of Greater Madison 2222 S Park Street in Madison. You can find more information on the awards and the winners in the news release below.

And in case you missed it, one of our earliest posts on Raising Madison discussed Wisconsin’s Breastfeeding Law.

City of Madison News Release

Community Breastfeeding Awards Announced

The third annual Community Breastfeeding Promotion Awards will honor four individuals and organizations who have made a difference in promoting, this healthy choice. The event will be held on Thursday, October 7 at 6 PM at the Urban League of Greater Madison 2222 S Park Street in Madison and is sponsored by the Madison Breastfeeding Promotion Network and Public Health Madison and Dane County.

“These awards recognize those in our community who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the promotion, protection and support of the practice of breastfeeding”, said Alice Meyer, Public Health Nurse and Co-chair of the Madison Breastfeeding promotion Network. “Breastfeeding is widely recognized for improving health outcomes for mothers and babies. These individuals and organizations are helping to make Dane County a more Breastfeeding Friendly place and this will improve the health of women and children. ”

Last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released The Breastfeeding Report Card, United States 2010. This report gives information on how breastfeeding is being protected, promoted, and supported.

In Wisconsin and throughout the country we have high breastfeeding initiation rates which show that most mothers want to breastfeed and are trying to do so. However, these rates drop off at 3, 6, and 12 months. Women face multiple barriers to continue breastfeeding.

The CDC Guide To Breastfeeding Interventions recognizes that to effectively increase breastfeeding that support for breastfeeding is needed in many different arenas, including worksites, legislation, medical systems, and family settings.

Following is a list of this year’s recipients:

Ingrid Andersson
Community Midwives, LLC
(Healthcare Award)

Acting as a midwife, Ingrid states in her contract with clients that all infants born in her practice should be breastfed. She is setting an example all providers in the community should follow to improve our public health. At Community Midwives, breastfeeding is the natural extension of the birthing process. Care is taken so that infants are birthed into a calm, quiet environment and immediately placed skin to skin with their mother. There are no unnecessary interventions to healthy infants and post partum care of both mother and infant is respectful and unhurried to ensure the breastfeeding relationship is well established.
Ingrid has helped women with low milk supply and breastfeeding difficulties get donor human milk for their babies. She has connected many women who needed peer support by facilitating monthly group meetings for her clients, and by referring them to an online support group in the Madison area community that shares her breastfeeding goals.
Ingrid assures that infants born in her practice will be breastfed and that women will be successful at breastfeeding. Ingrid and Community Midwives is truly baby friendly.

Senator Fred Risser
(Legislative Advocate Award)

When a mother contacted Senator Risser’s office in 2005 to report that her friend was harassed for breastfeeding her baby at an area mall, Senator Risser took the complaint seriously. He and his legislative aide, Sarah Briganti, crafted legislation to address this problem and introduced it in the 2005-2006 legislative session. However, it was too late in the session for the bill to make its way through all the necessary hearings. Senate Bill 30 (and Assembly Bill 104) were reintroduced in the 2007 legislative session. The hearing before the Senate Committee on Public Health, Senior Issues, Long-Term Care, and Privacy took place on May 15, 2007. That committee voted 5 to 0 to approve the bill and send it on to the full Senate. The vote took place on October 30 and the bill was approved by the full Senate. Because of the opposition of the chair of the Assembly Committee on Health and Health Care Reform, Assembly Bill 104 was not allowed a vote in that committee, and the legislation was therefore killed.
Senator Risser and his staff, as well as the Assembly sponsors of the companion bill, had spent an immense amount of time writing the bill, gathering cosponsors in the State Senate and Assembly, rounding up supporters throughout Wisconsin to testify at hearings, and keeping those in the breastfeeding community informed of the bill’s progress.
Although disappointed in the bill’s failure to pass in 2007, Senator Risser did not give up his efforts in behalf of breastfeeding mothers and children. He re-introduced the Right to Breastfeed Act in January 2009, the next legislative session. This time it was known as Senate Bill 16 and Assembly Bill 57. After a great deal of work shepherding this bill through both the State Senate and the State Assembly, on January 27, 2010, it received a unanimous vote of approval in the Senate Public Health Committee. On Tuesday, February 16 the Assembly version of the bill came up before the full State Senate. It passed in less than 30 seconds with no opposition voiced. It was then forwarded to Governor James Doyle’s office for his signature. This occurred on Wednesday, March 10, 2010. Wisconsin was the 44th state to enact similar legislation.
This bill protects the rights of mothers and children to breastfeed in Wisconsin. The bill reads:
“A mother may breast-feed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breast-feeding her child, direct a mother to move to another location to breast-feed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breast-feeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breast-feeding.

Nicki Maynard
Nicki’s Diapers
(Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award)

When Nicki opened her retail store in Madison’s west side a year ago, she wanted it to be more than a store. She wanted to help and support breastfeeding mothers. She and her employees do much informal education with shoppers about needed products such as pumps, infant carriers, bras, etc. The support goes beyond retail in that she offers many classes, a support group for breastfeeding and a baby scale available for use at any time.
As an employer, she allows employees to bring their nurslings to work. She is a mother of 3 breastfed children and knows the importance of keeping moms and babies together.
Her store has become known in the neighborhood as a welcome place to breastfeed or pump. She has also created a card which is given to mothers seen nursing in public which gives them a discount at the store.
La Leche League members have expressed delight that the west side of Madison now has a comprehensive store for quality breastfeeding supplies whose mission includes offering classes and support groups.
Nicki’s Diapers is breastfeeding friendly!

Deana Foster RD
Hy-Vee Grocery
(Breastfeeding Friendly business/Public Place Award

Deana Foster has worked to establish breastfeeding friendly places for moms to breastfeed for both employees and store customers. Currently there are two private offices which can be used by breastfeeding mothers to pump or breast feed. Both offices have privacy shades. Neither office has a lock, but Deana has created “Room in Use” stop signs to help ensure moms privacy. Deana has worked with pregnant employees prior to delivery to encourage them to breastfeed and to inform them that there is space and time available for pumping. Deana was also supportive of working with WIC and Public Health Lactation Consultants to offer her employees additional support that she may not be able to provide.
Deana had worked previously in WIC and has breastfed her own children. She is a breastfeeding advocate. Her office is near the baby supply aisles and is often seen talking with customers and staff throughout the store. Deana is often in contact with breastfeeding mothers and can recognize “that look in their eyes” when they need a place to breastfeed and graciously allows moms her office for privacy.
Deana is a very energetic and personable advocate who helps all moms feels comfortable and secure in their breastfeeding roles.
Deana’s enthusiasm for breastfeeding helps to support two groups of breastfeeding moms. She is a supportive role model for both employees and store customers. This helps to support breastfeeding in both the workplace and the community.

La Leche League – Dad’s Night in Verona

From the La Leche League blog:

All fathers and expectant fathers are invited to LLL of Verona to discuss being the father of a breastfed baby.

Moms and babies are welcome as always.
Thursday, June 10th at 5:30 pm at Verona Public Library (500 Silent St.).
Have questions? Call: Heather 845-1328 or Fran 441-0119

Are any of you dads thinking of attending? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject as well!

Wisconsin Breastfeeding Law

Hey breastfeeding mamas! It’s important to know your rights – especially when it comes to nursing in public. The laws vary from state-to-state, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with the laws before you travel. Here’s a comprehensive list of Breastfeeding State Laws.

In Wisconsin, a new law was signed by Governor Jim Doyle this past March. The law states:

253.16 Right to breast-feed. A mother may breast-feed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breast-feeding her child, direct a mother to move to another location to breast-feed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breast-feeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breast-feeding.

Basically this means that if you have a right to be there, you have a right to breastfeed there! And, if anyone tries to interfere, they could face up to $200 in fines. There’s no need for you to cover up or move to a separate location.

For those of you who prefer to nurse in a more private area (or have a distractible child like I do!), I know that all Motherhood Maternity stores welcome nursing mamas into their dressing rooms. I have had no trouble using the dressing rooms at the east side Target and Old Navy to nurse, and Babies “R” Us has a small nursing room with two chairs and a changing table.

Tiffany and I are both still happily nursing our little ones! And our experiences nursing in public in Madison have been mostly positive ones.

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Tiffany: I’m happy to report that I have never had any negative experiences breastfeeding in public. I nursed my now 3.5 year old daughter for the first 18 months of her life, and I used a nursing cover or blanket about 50% of the time, but never received anything but encouragement from strangers. With my son – now almost 7 months – I cover up almost all the time in public, mostly because he gets distracted so easily without it! I have never been approached at all while feeding him.

Happily, the only “negative” experience I’ve had while feeding my children was someone criticizing me for bottle-feeding my then 9 month old daughter (we supplemented due to supply issues). I’d gladly take that experience (in which I agreed with her that breast is best, and then thanked her for making me feel worse about something I was already in tears about most days), than have to defend myself for breastfeeding while my boobs are out and my child is eating.

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Kat: I’ve had only positive experiences nursing in public. It’s been 16 months, and I have yet to receive any negative feedback or judgmental looks (or maybe I’ve just been too focused on my daughter to notice them!). Actually, the only comment I’ve ever received came just last month at a baby shower when one of the ladies remarked that she hadn’t even realized I was nursing Milena (even though she was sitting only a few feet away from us).

Within a few months of Milena’s birth, I was going to parent/baby groups (and then out to lunch, etc) where I was surrounded by other nursing mamas, so nursing in public because very normal very quickly. It’s difficult to feel awkward about something when you have that kind of support!

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We’re so glad there is now legislation to strongly protect nursing mamas and babies in Wisconsin. In the end, we’d continue to nurse in public even if we received negative comments because by doing so we’re showing that nursing is normal. We would love for breastfeeding to be a totally acceptable non-issue when Milena and Lily are mamas so they could nurse their babies wherever and whenever they need to without a second thought.

We both have friends who’ve mentioned feeling so painfully awkward and uncomfortable the first times they nurse in public. Tiffany and I sit up tall because we’re giving our children the best we can and frankly, we’re proud of our decisions! And we hope that this new law will help other mamas do the same.

How about you? What has your experience been with nursing in public? Have you found Madison to be a breastfeeding-friendly city?