Annual breastfeeding walk, set for Wednesday, aims to help educate public

MORGANTOWN — In June 2014, the West Virginia Legislature passed a law affirming a mom’s right to breastfeed in public.
That natural act still causes discomfort and nursing moms are still being asked to leave some establishments so that other patrons are more comfortable.
The Monongalia County Health Department’s WIC program, with help from others, wants to change that.
To help educate the public and make expectant and breastfeeding moms feel more confident, the 11th Annual Breastfeeding Awareness Walk will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center.
According to a press release from the county health department, the walk is presented by the health department’s Women, Infants and Children program and the Monongalia County Breastfeeding Task Force. Sponsors include Mon Health Medical Center, WVU Medicine Children’s and Cardinal Pediatrics.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. There will be a Diaper Derby at 5 p.m., a walk around the Erickson Alumni Center grounds at 5:30 p.m, refreshments, storytime, presentations and prize drawings at 6 p.m.
WIC has breastfeeding counselors to help expectant and new mothers who are WIC clients learn about breastfeeding, Lynne Ryan, breastfeeding coordinator, said in the press release.
In 1991, less than 20 percent of Mon County WIC moms tried breastfeeding. Since expanding the Breastfeeding Promotion Program and adding breastfeeding counselors, that number “has continued to rise to 54 percent,” Ryan said.

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