August is National Breastfeeding Month and breastfeeding is getting a lot of buzz. The month started off with World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) and it will end with Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25-31). Families, women, community leaders, and lactavists (yes, that’s a word) will celebrate the wonders of lactation and its many benefits. Government agencies around the world are releasing proclamations in support of breastfeeding as a way to support their local families. Just before we entered August, here in the U.S., we celebrated all 50 states finally having laws that protect a family’s right to breastfeed in public.
But what about businesses? Whether small or large, mom and pop, and my personal favorite; Black owned businesses. Are they supporting breastfeeding and are we, breastfeeding advocates, celebrating with local businesses in our communities? Last year, I committed to hold an in-person event annually during Black Breastfeeding Week for families while recognizing the business for being Breastfeeding-Friendly. Awesome families from the Los Angeles area met at Juice-C-Juice in Carson, CA to discuss breastfeeding. The owner of Juice-C-Juice was given window cling to let customers know that this is a breastfeeding-friendly establishment. This distinction means that breastfeeding families are welcome, protected, and will not be harassed within the business’ walls. In recent years, social media has been filled with amateur videos of mothers being harassed, demeaned, and belittled while breastfeeding in a variety of businesses and locations. Rarely, do we see viral videos of businesses supporting breastfeeding families. We can highlight businesses in our celebrations this year and every year.
If you are celebrating breastfeeding this month you can do these things:
- Shout out a business on social media with a direct tag, include their website, and/or give their address in a worded or picture post and use the hashtag #breastfeedingfriendly
- Write a positive review and give the business a positive rating on Yelp, Facebook, or on the business’ website. Make sure you mention that you were welcomed while you, your friend/family, or another customer breast fed their baby.
- Hand out Breastfeeding Friendly Window Clings to businesses that you know who support breastfeeding families. Clings can be purchased and kept in your car or purse. When you encounter a business that is welcoming to breastfeeding families, you can give the owner or manager the cling. The cling will notify families that this business is welcoming to breastfeeding families. Here are a few suggestions:
- Breastfeeding Friendly Vinyl Cling
- Breastfeeding Is Welcome and Encouraged Here
- Breastfeeding Heart – Black & White
- Lactation Room
- Universal Breastfeeding Symbol Window Cling – Variety of Colors
- Universal Breastfeeding Symbol Window Cling – Original
- Breastfeeding is Love
- Breastfeeding is Welcome Here
- Breastfeeding-Friendly Symbol
- Print Yourself
Regardless of how you recognize breastfeeding this month be proud about it. Let the world know that you are a supporter of moms, babies and families and their right to breastfeed openly and freely.
To learn more about my lactation support services and resources go to Lydia’s Resources.
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