You may have seen a new public service announcement.
Starting in August – national breastfeeding month – Bismarck Burleigh Public Health is encouraging new mothers to reach a breastfeeding goal of 6 months.
Katie Johnke said, “No matter your profession, your career, where you work, that there are resources in place to get you to your breastfeeding goal.”
In North Dakota, 66% of women with children under 6-years-old work outside the home. The PSA is specifically targeting those working moms and their employers. They want to create a new culture that accepts breastfeeding in the workplace.
“Being able to have more support from employers, having more spaces to breastfeed in the community, more places to pump. We’re creating that postitive culture that mom’s need,” said Johnke.
Moms like Kalee Werner and her 12-week-old baby Avlyn. She works at the North Dakota Department of Health.
“I’m able to take her to work every day which is wonderful. I have a space that they give me to breastfeed her every day,” said Werner.
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mom and baby including a lower risk of SIDS and cancer. Werner says she can see that Avlyn is a very happy baby — and mom wants to keep up that good work.
Werner added, “She will go back to daycare starting at 6 months, so that will be kind of the challenge starting there that I won’t have her with me to breastfeed. But I’m starting to, you know, store milk away right now for her to continue with the breast milk all the way through the one year mark.”
And maybe with the help of a simple PSA with an important message, she can. The funding for the PSA along with other resources is funded by a federal grant awarded in April 2016.