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World Breastfeeding WeekJuly 28, 2015

The Taos Latch On Breastfeeding Coalition is taking part in a world-wide effort to ensure that working mothers continue to breastfeed. Latch On invites the community to a free celebration of World Breastfeeding Week at Twirl toy store on Wednesday August 6 from 11 am to 1 pm. Taos joins communities in 175 countries worldwide in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, an international initiative of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to increase breastfeeding rates in the industrial and developing worlds.

People from Latch On member organizations—Taos First Steps, Taos WIC, Tiwa Babies, and the Taos Center for Breastfeeding, as well as a representative from the NM Breastfeeding Task Force, will be on hand to provide information and support for breastfeeding moms and pregnant women considering breastfeeding. Free, healthy and kid friendly snacks, cake and beverages will be offered. Snacks will include lactogenic granola bars and cupcakes that promote breast milk production.

One of the biggest obstacles for working mothers who want to breastfeed their babies is a hostile or unsupportive workplace and community. Yet accommodating the needs of lactating mothers is extremely low-cost and easy. Breastfeeding in public is protected by law in New Mexico. Business owners can promote breastfeeding by:

  • Welcoming breastfeeding mothers, and never asking them to leave, move, or cover up;
  • Providing a comfortable chair and free glass of water;
  • Encouraging and supporting employees to breastfeed;
  • Providing break time to employees to nurse if the baby can visit the workplace;
  • Providing time for employees to pump breast milk, a clean space with an electric outlet and lock to do so, and refrigerator space to store milk;
  • Encouraging pregnant employees to care for themselves well;
  • Creating a written breastfeeding policy for your policies and procedures manual, and educate your employees about this policy;
  • Educating employees about breastfeeding being protected by law in New Mexico; and
  • Providing public education materials or displays for customers and employees.

Breastfeeding is an excellent way to promote early and strong bonding between a mother and her newborn, and the skin-to-skin contact that accompanies breastfeeding helps the newborn regulate stress, temperature, breathing and heart rate. Breastfeeding has been proven to protect the health of babies and mothers in numerous ways: lowering the risk of infant mortality; gastric, respiratory, ear and brain infections in infancy; childhood cancers; and adult diseases including diabetes, high cholesterol, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Breastfeeding her baby also reduces a mother’s later risk of breast cancer.

Women who do not receive enough support from their spouses, family members, employers and community are less likely to choose or persist with breastfeeding despite knowing the health and bonding benefits.

The Latch On Coalition aims to engage our community in supporting all mothers to breastfeed their babies, and to educate and encourage employers to provide time and private space for their employees to breastfeed or pump breast milk while on the job. For more information on becoming a breastfeeding friendly business, contact Beth Enson at Taos First Steps at 751-5858.

Taos First Steps, a program of Holy Cross Hospital, is a FREE program for families with young children. We provide resources and support to help you raise a strong, happy family. We’re here to discuss parenting triumphs and trials, to listen to your joys and concerns, and support you along the way – from pre-natal until your child’s third birthday.