Breast-Feeding Campaign Kicks Off
Research shows that breast-feeding aids mental development, increases emotional bonds, reduces the risk of type 2 child diabetes, and is more cost efficient than formula – yet the majority of Texas mothers stop breast-feeding before the recommended 6 months. According to Gail Gresham, breast-feeding coordinator for Women, Infants, and Children, the problem is a lack of support for mothers in the face of social and physical roadblocks. WIC has partnered with Capital Metro, the Austin Public Library, and the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition to help mothers overcome these hurdles with the "I breastfeed because ..." campaign. "We want to demystify it," says Gresham. "As a promotional campaign, we wanted to make it real, not just from doctors but from mothers." Capital Metro has donated more than 6,000 dollars' worth of free bus space to display ads picturing women breast-feeding and including real Austin mothers' testimonials, such as, "I breastfeed because it's normal and natural." The ads will be rolling down the streets of Austin through October. In addition, the campaign is providing free classes, networking opportunities, and health resources to the community. This Friday, WIC hosts a World Breastfeeding Day celebration at City Hall. See "Res Publica" for details.