Breastfeeding Campaign Goes Live in Marin

A series of life-sized photographs of women breastfeeding their babies, cut-out and plastered on poster board, are going to be displayed over Marin County starting today.

It's part of an eye-catching campaign to encourage breastfeeding and promote the acceptance of breastfeeding in public.

"Breastfeeding is recognized as the standard for infant feeding by all major health organizations," said lactation consultant and coalition member Susan Martinelli. "Mother's milk provides the best nutritional, immunological and emotional nurturance for the normal growth and development of babies. No manufactured formula offers anything close."

The life-like cutouts of women and their babies will make their debut Wednesday at the Village shopping center in Corte Madera, near a children's play area.

The campaign is being launched by the Marin Breastfeeding Coalition, a local advocacy group working to increase breastfeeding awareness and support.

During a recent test run in San Rafael, the cutouts drew dozens of gawking eyes and confused second looks.  Each cutout figure is holding a card that reads, "When breastfeeding is accepted, it won't be noticed."

The Marin Breastfeeding Coalition said it would love for everyone to notice the campaign and to question why they were even paying so much attention to a breastfeeding mother in the first place. 

The group wants the public to know that breastfeeding in public is perfectly acceptable and that it is actually protected by law.

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 will expand to the rest of the county in the coming  weeks.

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