It’s January, which means it’s time for looking back AND looking forward. I feel as though breastfeeding exploded in the news this past year. Almost weekly, a major news source posted a breastfeeding blog. Fourteen years ago when MilkWorks opened, blogs were unheard of. And it was a rare day when breastfeeding was mentioned anywhere except a childbirth class. Certainly not in the New York Times or Washington Post!
There has been plenty of controversy in the air surrounding breastfeeding. Is it politically appropriate for a for-profit milk bank to encourage low income African American moms to sell their breast milk to other moms? Why can Rihanna wear a see through dress that totally exposes her breasts, but a mom breastfeeding her baby during a college graduation ceremony causes a furor? What about the Project Breastfeeding ad campaign (“If I Could, I Would”) showing dads pretending to breastfeed?
There has been plenty of progress as well. Nationwide, we recently learned that Tricare, the health care benefit plan for military families will now start covering breastfeeding help and breast pumps. The Food and Drug Administration has announced new prescription labels that will help health care providers determine the risks of medications for breastfeeding mothers. All thirteen Indian Health Service hospitals that provide maternity care are now designated baby friendly and ready to provide breastfeeding support. Here in Nebraska, the Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition is hiring a coordinator to provide guidance for community breastfeeding projects. And right here in Lincoln, our local McDonalds at 58th and Old Cheney is going out of their way for their breastfeeding employees by providing a pop up privacy tent. Way to go, McDonalds!
Breastfeeding moms are certainly developing a whole village of support ...
MilkWorks is changing, too. babyworks, which funds the free educational and support services at MilkWorks (moms’ groups and drop in weight checks), is getting a fresh new look. Stop in and check us out. It’s called shopping with a mission! You’ll also notice construction as we move our support staff from Suite S to Suite Y. They need to be closer to the front desk to better serve our clients due to the changes in insurance coverage for breastfeeding support and breast pumps. And in early 2015, we will be opening the doors to MilkWorks O in Rockbrook Village in Omaha. Whew!
We are excited for 2015! While all this change is happening, we aim to keep our core mission the same: creating a healthier community by helping mothers breastfeed their babies. We value the unique ability of our board certified lactation consultants to provide clinical care, with a special emphasis on emotional support and education, in a relaxed environment seven days a week.
Happy New Year from MilkWorks! We look forward to another year as your community breastfeeding center!