As of 2010 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 3 out of 4 women in the United States start out breastfeeding but by six months only 43% are still breastfeeding and only 13% are exclusively breastfeeding. There is an across the board movement to improve these numbers ranging from our US Surgeon General to retailers. Greater breastfeeding rates from inception through one year are thought to improve the health of mothers and babies as well as have positive economic and social impacts.
The pregnancy and parenting website, The Bump, identified through their polling that 1 out of 7 women are uncomfortable breastfeeding in public and are doing something to reduce one of many stigma breastfeeding mothers face in their choice. Their catchy “Join the Boob-o-lution” campaign asked women to take a pledge to commit to breastfeeding then spend some part of August 15th to engage in a public display of breastfeeding. This public display encourages women who are considering giving up on breastfeeding if public feeding is one of the barriers they face. For 2013 The Bump was sponsored by Colorado’s own The Boppy Company for five national events at local retailers. Right Start in Cherry Creek hosted the Denver event and moms were given incentives to participate with their babies.
We were told the first 30 mamas would get goody bags and they loaded us down with so much swag it was a little hard to balance holding our babies as well goody bags when we left through the doors. Some of the companies The Bump worked with to show us mamas love included The Boppy Company, Kanga Care’s Rump-a-rooz, pediped, Baby Legs, Birds & Bees Teas, and Boon.
The event was simple with kind intention. We arrived with babies. We were greeted at the door with water and snacks including lactation cupcakes. There was a feeding lounge set up and we were given a few introductions to the event and the sponsor then asked to feed our babies and have a good time.
The Bump is a parenting website intended to support parents. I spoke with Sharon Thomas from the company about the idea that some women may be put off by taking a breastfeeding pledge and being stigmatized if they chose not to feed their babies this way. She beautifully stated that The Bump does not judge parents but is merely trying to support women in any mothering choices they make. The Public Day of Breastfeeding came about from identifying a need the readers of their website said was missing in their lives.
If you need any support with your breastfeeding or parenting journey look to TheBump.com. There you will find encouragement like what I found from the Public Day of Breastfeeding. There are also numerous articles and videos from experts as well as a forum for peers to communicate with each other.
Kia Ruiz is a mom, wellness advocate, and yoga instructor. She loves to work with corporate, mixed level and new mom clients. You can find her at Bodhi Bear.