We recently received a thank you note and donation from a Lincoln day care provider who relies upon us to answer questions she has when taking care of babies who are breastfeeding. This is exactly what US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin meant by community support when she issued the recent Call to Action for Breastfeeding.
Everyone in our community, from a breastfeeding mother, to her partner, to her mother-in-law, to her health care provider, to her employer, to her day care provider, needs to know where they can get accurate, consistent information and support.
Not just when a mom has a baby who won't latch or isn't gaining weight, but for all those other small reasons we don't think about. The support needs to be easy to access and it needs to be available 7 days a week (and preferably 24 hours a day!).
MilkWorks doesn't quite fit the bill of 24/7. But 7 days a week we provide a full range of services and many ways to access support: online, by phone and in person. Need to chat with other moms? Come to Mom Talk. Want to weigh your baby? Drop in for a free weight check. Need expert medical advice for a breastfeeding baby with health problems? Make an appointment with Dr. Leeper. Need a speaker for your high school students? That's us. We serve the whole community.
Breastfeeding support will not change overnight. Lincoln has made progress in the past 10 years, and LB 197, which protects a woman's right to breastfeed in public, will mean we have made more progress. But there are many more pieces of the breastfeeding pie. Moms need consistent information from all their health care providers. They need support in the workforce. Moms also need to know this is not about perfection. It is about getting the support that they need.
In the end our community will win. Moms will feel supported, health care costs will decrease and the health and well-being of our community will improve. Breastfeeding support will then translate to a healthier community for all of us!
Thank you for letting us be your community breastfeeding center!