Research shows that breastfeeding provides a lot of health benefits for new moms and their babies. However, in today’s hurried world, it can be difficult to find the time and resources that support a successful feeding schedule.

To make matters worse, many new moms either aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in public spaces or become subject to criticism from those around them. Over two-thirds of adults in the U.S. believe that women should have the right to breastfeed in public and yet most moms never do.

How to Help Normalize Breastfeeding

Help normalize breastfeeding by highlighting resources and policies that empower women to feed their babies in whatever way works best for them.

1. Talk About the Challenges

Part of normalizing breastfeeding comes with recognizing how difficult it is for some women. In fact, 4 out of 10 first-time mothers have delayed onset of breast milk. We can help make it easier for these moms by acknowledging these challenges and recognizing the need for supplemental resources, such as donor breast milk and/or formula.

2. Accept the Right to Breastfeed

Breastfeeding is often talked about as a “choice” and that can be misleading for moms. Let’s support breastfeeding as a right for women and increase the awareness of the social barriers that are created at home, in the workplace, and in public spaces. Nursing mothers should be comfortable feeding their babies, rather than feeling exposed and shamed by others.

“Recent legislation allows breastfeeding mothers to postpone jury duty for up to two years with a note from their physician. As a breastfeeding mother myself, I know how difficult it is to juggle the responsibilities of breastfeeding with a full time career. The breastfeeding relationship between a mother and her baby should be encouraged and supported as breastfeeding has lifelong benefits to the mental and physical health of both the mother and her baby. It is important for our government officials to support breastfeeding mothers in any way possible, and this newest legislation is a welcomed advancement towards the normalization of breastfeeding.”

Caitlin Nicotra, DO
Trinity Medical OB/GYN, East Aurora

3. Encourage Policy Changes

Many companies and organizations demonstrate their support for breastfeeding through policy changes that make nursing easier for women. Whether it’s New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signing legislation providing jury duty exemption for breastfeeding mothers or Target’s nurse “wherever and whenever” policy, these measures shape the way we view breastfeeding for the better.

4. Support Resources for Nursing Moms

Certified lactation consultants are available to help mothers begin breastfeeding in the hospital, but it’s important for women to have continued access to these experts. There are many community resources that can help moms after they leave the hospital, including support groups with other breastfeeding mothers, breastfeeding classes, donor breast milk programs, and more.

Learn More About Breastfeeding Support

Increasing awareness and sensitivity around these issues helps women advocate for each other and makes the breastfeeding community more inclusive. If you’d like to learn more about breastfeeding support resources, visit us online or talk with your care provider.


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