Coalition launches breastfeeding campaign

January 28, 2009 11:42:42 AM PST
The Marin Breastfeeding Coalition begins a campaign at The Village shopping center today to promote the acceptance of breastfeeding in public.

The campaign features life-size photos, cut out and plastered on poster board, of women breastfeeding their babies.

The breastfeeding cutouts had a recent test run in a downtown San Rafael plaza. Each cutout figure held a card that read, "When breastfeeding is accepted, it won't be noticed."

During the test run, dozens of people noticed the breastfeeding mothers, did a double-take and stepped in for a closer look, according to the Marin Breastfeeding Coalition.

The coalition, however, wants everyone to go one step further and to question why they paid so much attention to a breastfeeding mother in the first place.

"Breastfeeding is perfectly acceptable and it's protected by law," coalition spokeswoman Michelle Fadelli said in a statement. "Just as many adults get takeout food or a coffee to go; mother's milk is simply a baby's breakfast, lunch or dinner."

The coalition said 95 percent of new mothers in Marin County start off breastfeeding their babies but by 6 months the rate drops to 42 percent and by 12 months only 19 percent of babies are breastfed.

The campaign debuts at The Village shopping center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today and will expand to the rest of the county in the coming weeks.