Did you know that according to the CDC Breastfeeding report card for 2013 76.5% of U.S. women who started to breastfeed their baby, only 16.4% are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months?
In the state of Florida while 78.1% of women ever breastfed, only 10.6% are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months.
Sarasota isn’t exactly a young town but there are plenty of babies around. I’ve noticed more now than ever. Maybe it’s because I had one recently or maybe it’s a big baby year here.
Breastfeeding is the best choice for feeding a baby in the first year. It’s not the only choice but if able to, it’s the best choice. I breastfed my previous children, ages 15 and up, for a short period of time. I was young, uneducated and had no support. After 1-3 months they were all formula fed.
I have been breastfeeding EJ for 7 months now. I had the support of a WIC lactation consultant whom I appreciated so much, especially in those early weeks.
I’ve heard of people all over the US that live in areas that aren’t breastfeeding friendly. I won’t ever understand why anyone would shame women for feeding a baby in public. Feed them in an unsanitary bathroom? Cover them with a blanket so they can overheat? Starve them until they get home? Don’t leave the house? I think people are so insecure with themselves and their own relationships that they expect others to feel the same way or at least follow their way. I hope these people don’t frequent a pool or beach as they will likely see more skin there than by a breastfeeding mother.
Ever since I moved here, however, I have found nothing but nice people. There are sour apples everywhere, of course, but in general people here are positive, smile, and just nice. Even most tourists I have run into soak up the sun here and always seem to have a smile on their faces. This hasn’t been any different breastfeeding in public. To my knowledge I haven’t had one dirty look, not one rude comment, and not one person make me feel uncomfortable about it. Once I felt more comfortable and the humidity got out of control I stopped covering him to feed. No one ever really sees much anyway. I have fed him everywhere from the grocery store, the mall, many restaurants, and the beach. I feel so lucky to live somewhere that breastfeeding feels normal. I wish every mother could have that.
For a period of time daddy brought EJ to my work everyday where I fed him.
If you live in the Sarasota area and need help from a consultant contact WIC or Healthy Start.
If you need to know the law surrounding breastfeeding as well as pumping at work in Florida the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition has information on the law as well as cards you can print out.
A great resource for breastfeeding mom’s everywhere is KellyMom. It is evidence-based breastfeeding, pregnancy and parenting information. It is my #1 goto website for all things related to breastfeeding.
Latch on ladies!