Pin It
Favorite

Advocates Latch on to World Breastfeeding Week 

Local Matters

BURLINGTON - City Hall's Contois Auditorium was filled with families Saturday for a celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. The annual event, sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health and the La Leche League of Burlington, drew dozens of parents and children for a sing-along, a baby-food-making demonstration and a rally to support breastfeeding moms.

Last month, Burlington City Councilors defeated a resolution that would have promoted the benefits of breastfeeding, saying it wasn't part of the "core city mission."

Kirsten Berggren, a lactation counselor with the breastfeeding clinic at Fletcher Allen's Lintilhac Birthing Center, disagrees. The Old North End resident staffed an information table Saturday with her young daughter and son.

Breastfeeding dramatically reduces the likelihood that infants will get sick, Berggren points out, so encouraging the practice makes economic sense. "The parents of breastfed babies miss three times less work because their babies aren't sick as much," she notes, adding that breastfeeding thus saves on health-care costs, an estimated $375 per child per year.

The health department advises women to breastfeed for at least a year. But Berggren notes that most Vermont moms who start out breastfeeding are forced to stop after just a few months because they have a difficult time pumping their breasts when they return to work. She recently published Working Without Weaning, a resource book to help working moms through that transition, and manages a website, www.workandpump.com.

Berggren is also collaborating with the health department on a campaign to explain to employers how they can be more breastfeeding-friendly. Suggestions include everything from providing flexible breaks to paying for electric breast pumps for employees.

"I think employers don't realize what a wonderful benefit this is to provide," she says. "We break it down into dollars."

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

More by Cathy Resmer

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Cathy Resmer is a former staff writer and currently an associate publisher at Seven Days, and is one of the organizers of the Vermont Tech Jam. She's also the Copublisher and Executive Editor of Kids VT, Seven Days' free monthly parenting publication.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Politics

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
e-newsletters:

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation