July 25, 2005
While seven out of 10 mothers across the United States start breastfeeding after birth, only four out of 10 Louisiana mothers start breastfeeding, according to the most recent data. Nationally, 36 percent of mothers continue breastfeeding for the first six months, compared to 16 percent of Louisiana mothers.
"Raising awareness of the value of breastfeeding for Louisiana moms is crucial. We have several events planned this year in order to do that," says Meshawn Tarver, senior program coordinator for breastfeeding and women's health at the Tulane Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. "We have added a new focus on workplaces that are developing or have plans to create a space for women to pump or breastfeed. Employers can play an important role in helping their employees raise healthy children and be healthy themselves."
The benefits of breastfeeding newborns include a closer bond between mother and child, long-term health benefits for the baby and reduced expenses for families who do not have to purchase formula or take breastfed babies to doctors as often for earaches and other ailments, Tarver says.
Events during World Breast Feeding Week in the New Orleans area:
Monday, Aug. 1: - Brown bag lunch presentation: "Breastfeeding in the U.S." at 1440 Canal St., noon - 1 pm rm 1203
Tuesday, Aug. 2: - Brown bag lunch presentation: "Breastfeeding in the World" at 1440 Canal St., noon - 1 pm rm 1203
Wednesday, Aug. 3: - Expecting/New Mother's Fair at 1324 Tulane Ave. 9 am - 2 pm
Thursday, Aug. 4: - Street Car Ride for Breastfeeding Moms. Meet at the corner of Basin St. and Canal St. at 10:45 am. Ride to end around noon.
Friday, Aug. 5: - Breastfeeding Tea at 143 S. Liberty Street 1 pm - 2 pm - Awards will be presented to workplaces in New Orleans that have created breastfeeding-friendly spaces or policies
Saturday, Aug. 6: - La Leche League Family Fun Day, Lakeside Mall, 10 am - 1 pm For more information, call Meshawn Tarver at (504) 988-3702.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org