Breaking barriers to breastfeeding

Some women don't have the luxury of breastfeeding their newborns because of workplace demands and the lack of adequate support.

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Columnists

August 17, 2022 - 3:40 PM

Gov. Laura Kelly signs a proclamation designating August as Kansas Breastfeeding Month. Behind her, from left, are David Thomason, Ashley Goss, Brenda Bandy, Sen. Dinah Sykes, Melissa Rooker, Logan Stenseng, Earlisha Killen, Sapphire Garcia-Lies, Jennie Toland, Mandy Chapin, Stephanne Rupnicki and Sen. Kristen O’Shea. (Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition)

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly declared August “Kansas Breastfeeding Month” during a ceremony July 29 in recognition of National Breastfeeding Month.

Yet for too many families in Kansas, breastfeeding is measured in days, not months. Although nearly 90% of babies in Kansas start out breastfeeding, fewer than one in three will be breastfeeding three months later.

The “choice” to breastfeed isn’t a choice at all for many families. Lack of paid family leave, support in the workplace, and lack of access to lactation support from people with shared backgrounds and culture, make breastfeeding seem impossible.

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