Breastfeeding advocates aim to bolster support for Rochester mothers

There is a call to action among healthcare providers to support nursing mothers. (WHAM file photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - There is a call to action among healthcare providers to support nursing mothers.

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is asking its delegates to pledge support for nursing mothers. The call comes in response to U.S. opposition to a breastfeeding resolution at the World Health Assembly this past spring.

It was a move many considered to be shocking: an attempt to remove language in the resolution that would call on governments to protect and promote nursing mothers.

"I was appalled and frankly embarassed," said Ann Dozier, a delegate to the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee who lvies in Rochester. "It didn’t speak well of our country that we aren’t going to go to those lengths to do more to promote breastfeeding."

Dozier says while culture has become more accepting of breastfeeding, there is still room for improvement.

"Some women choose not to breastfeed because they don’t think their employer is going to be supportive of it," Dozier said. "It’s actually more than having a policy, it’s how that policy is implemented."

Implementing that policy can take a community effort.

"If we live in a society in which we tell women they should breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed and then we don’t create conditions where that should happen, then of course people will feel guilty," Dozier said.

Casey Rosen-Carole is the Medical Director of Lactation Services and Programs at the University of Rochester. She helps mothers who face a variety of challenges. She also recognizes not everyone breastfeeds.

Rosen-Carole offers guidance to those who want to try.

"What are the supports that we need to put in place in order for people to achieve those goals?," Rosen-Carole said. "Rochester itself is really special, in that it has a long tradition in history working towards best practices both in the healthcare setting and the community."

Their aim is to focus on education before and after birth, while working with employers to educate them as well.

Rochester has a regional breastfeeding coalition which advocates for nursing mothers. Next month, they will roll out their baby cafes which will offer support for mothers to nurse openly.

You can learn more about the University of Rochester program here.

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