July 24, 2006
With one out of two new mothers returning to work soon after the birth of their baby, continuing breastfeeding for the recommended six months can be a challenge, says Meshawn Tarver, breastfeeding educator at the Tulane/Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. Tarver has planned several activities to promote breastfeeding in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week in New Orleans Aug 1 - 7. A full list of events is available at: http://www.sph.tulane.edu/index.html.
Of those events, Tarver highlights the annual women's tea on Thursday Aug 3 from 12 to 2 p.m. at 143 S. Liberty St. as an opportunity for professional women in New Orleans to learn about breastfeeding at work.
"I want women and employers to know that we are here as a resource to help working mothers develop methods to continue breastfeeding even as they return to work," says Tarver. "The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health states that breastfeeding exclusively for six months, for example, offers protection from ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses."
Tarver cites several options for working mothers, including developing lactation rooms at worksites and coordinating with supervisors for adequate break or flex time to support breastfeeding.
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