CARRBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – The mayors of Chapel Hill and Carrboro want to set their towns apart from the rest when it comes to being accepting of breastfeeding.
Chapel Hill mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Carrboro mayor Lydia Lavelle will launch their efforts on Monday in Carrboro at the Oasis Café, a place that offers breastfeeding mothers free pots of tea.
It’s that type of welcoming environment that the towns are trying to encourage as “breastfeeding family friendly cities.”
The 10-step effort includes supporting the state law, allowing breastfeeding in public and employers allowing hourly workers breastfeeding break. It also includes giving window magnets to those businesses that encourage breastfeeding.
“I always appreciated any place that provided a comfy chair that was a little out of the way, so you could be there with your child and not feel like you were making everyone else watch you,” said one mother, Samantha Bryant.
Dr. Miriam Labbok, a UNC professor and the director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, said, “People may see no difference because most women are very discrete about their breastfeeding. It is not intended to be in people’s face. Breastfeeding is there to feed the baby.”
Labbok said the movement is one that moves away from looking at a woman’s body from a sexual perspective and seeing women in a more nurturing role.
“Breasts for so long have been a way to sell trucks and a way to sell houses as opposed to the way to feed a baby, so as we are returning to what is natural, to what is physiological, our society has to adjust,” Labbok said.
Monday’s effort coincides with National Breastfeeding Month.
“Chapel Hill and Carrboro are cities that care about the health and welfare of all families,” Kleinschmidt said. “Once UNC Hospitals achieved their Baby-Friendly Hospital status, we realized the community could continue to support this endeavor through the Breastfeeding Family Friendly Cities designation.”
Lavelle added, “By joining this effort, Carrboro continues its dedication to being inclusive to all types of families. We are proud to launch the program with the town of Chapel Hill.”