August 19, 2011
Emily Fuller visited the Vermont Department of Health infant comfort station at the Addison County Fair this year and stood near a life-sized stand-up image of herself nursing her baby. The photo was taken more than a year ago, and Fuller had her hair tied up, was wearing a baseball cap, and her baby was no longer a newborn.
“Nobody recognized me,” Fuller said. “But it was strange standing there. I had one of my friends walk up to my image at the airport and start to say hello to me before she realized it was not the real-life me.”
A “Change the Landscape: Support Breastfeeding in Our Community” campaign has been underway in Vermont throughout August. Images of nursing mothers are posted at businesses and shops, libraries and parks, hospitals and other public places.
Active support from family and friends, community organizations, employers, health care systems and government makes a difference, and helps mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Vermont's cultural support of breastfeeding, Fuller said, is a key resource that has completely changed the way nursing a baby is viewed by the entire community.
"I have been surrounded by breastfeeding families for my entire life,” Fuller said. “They have given me confidence, both by modeling and explicit teaching, that breastfeeding is normal, valuable, and attainable. This makes a big difference in normalizing breastfeeding. I know from experience while visiting other states that when a nursing mother is invisible your confidence decreases.”
Everyone can help change the landscape to support breastfeeding:
Report sightings. Look for these life-size cardboard models of women breastfeeding in public places. There are 48 appearing around the state, placed by your local Health Department office. Each model wears a “flash bag” filled with message buttons and postcards.
Wear a button. Choose a message button from the bag and show your support.
Enter the drawing. Fill out the postcard, add a stamp and mail it to the Health Department to enter a drawing for prizes.
Take a photo. Like us on Facebook, take a photo with one of the models and share it on our Facebook page – and yours. Find our link at: healthvermont.gov.
Talk it up. Start a conversation about breastfeeding with people in your community. Support breastfeeding moms wherever they are.
Learn more. Visit http://healthvermont.gov/youcandoit to see photos of the models and find out more about the Change the Landscape campaign, the importance of breastfeeding and health, and to nominate a breastfeeding friendly employer.
Follow us on Twitter and join us on www.facebook.com/healthvermont for up-to-date news and information.
Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: August 19, 2011 12:23:03