Celebrating breastfeeding with Jeffco Public Health

Event created to celebrate breastfeeding moms

Posted 8/5/19

Northglenn resident Lauren Hafer is raising a toddler son and now she has her hands full with her infant daughter. Hafer, one of dozens of mothers who attended Jefferson County Public Health's …

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Celebrating breastfeeding with Jeffco Public Health

Event created to celebrate breastfeeding moms

Posted

Northglenn resident Lauren Hafer is raising a toddler son and now she has her hands full with her infant daughter. Hafer, one of dozens of mothers who attended Jefferson County Public Health's breastfeeding fair, wants the community to know that breastfeeding is normal.

“Hopefully we're not saying hashtag normalize breastfeeding at some point. Hopefully it will just be normalized, because it's how we feed our kids,” said Hafer. “It's shocking there's a stigma (around breastfeeding).”

The World Health Organization says breastfeeding helps with brain development and reduces the risk of long-term illness. But, a Jeffco Community Health Assessment found mothers with low education levels, mothers of color and low-income levels are less likely to breastfeed their child at nine weeks.

Jeffco Public Health's breastfeeding fair was created with a purpose to celebrate breastfeeding mothers and to educate families about resources that can help support them. In its third year, the event took place on a hot Aug. 2 day in Lakewood in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.

“The hope and the goal is to support and normalize breastfeeding. It's not just for breastfeeding and pregnant families — it's for anyone to come,” said Kelsey Rivera, a registered dietitian and international board-certified lactation consultant.

Jeffco's Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was among the resource organizations in attendance at the fair. WIC offers a variety of services to mothers, pregnant women, children and infants, including basic health screening, referrals for health care, nutrition information, mother's milk donations, a breastfeeding mothers' group and more.

“WIC is important not only for the support, but providing healthy foods also,” said WIC Manager Kyle Harrison, who noted that food insecurity is a concern in Jeffco. Over 55% of low-income residents in Jeffco were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2014, according to Jeffco Public Health. “It's nice to see families come out and just be together.”

Attendees could cool off with shaved ice from Kona Ice, indulge in pizza, play games and more. There were also private breastfeeding stations set up for mothers who needed to feed their child.

“This is one of the most fun events we do all year, and we all look forward to it,” said Harrison.

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