Events planned in Vermont to highlight World Breastfeeding Week

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:09 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s World Breastfeeding Week and Vermont health officials are raising awareness about its importance.

Vermont is a leader in breastfeeding initiation with 91.5% of babies here getting human milk shortly after birth.

But by 6 months old, just 36.8% of babies are exclusively breastfed.

Experts think that’s because that’s about the time many moms have to go back to work, and many workplaces haven’t taken steps that could make their spaces more friendly for breastfeeding moms, like having private spaces for pumping and breaks to do so.

That’s why this year’s theme is “Step up for Breastfeeding -- Educate and Support.”

“During the pandemic, we really lost a lot of our opportunities to support people for breastfeeding and chestfeeding. We lost opportunities to gather in person or to get help in person or get peer support. So now that the pandemic is in a little bit of a different place, we’d like to return to pour more energy into some of these supports,” said Debra Kitzmiller, a public health nurse.

There are two in-person events in the Brattleboro and White River Junction areas, and one virtual one.

The virtual event is Friday from 1 to 2 p.m.

The in-person ones are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Lyman Point Park in White River Junction and Sunday at Winston Prouty in Brattleboro from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Click here for more information and to register.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full conversation with Debra Kitzmiller and Jackie Lindamood, a public health nutritionist, about breastfeeding and how the pandemic and the recent formula shortage have impacted Vermont families.

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