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Fargo Cass Public Health recognizes World Breastfeeding Week, National Breastfeeding Month

The community is invited to participate in a "Chalk Block" event.

August is National Breastfeeding Month, and August 1st through the 7th is World Breastfeeding Week. Fargo Cass Public Health is observing both.

Michelle Draxten is Breastfeeding Coordinator. She says Fargo Cass Public Health is highlighting breastfeeding support through social media, as well as recognizing Infant Friendly businesses, which are designated and support new moms when they return to work. Businesses can apply for the designation with the state health department.

"The application asks that a workplace have a breastfeeding support policy, and that in that policy it indicates a private space that isn't a bathroom where a mother can express milk; that there is flexible scheduling; and that there is a place for mothers to temporarily store her breast milk. That designation is free, and any business in North Dakota can apply. In Cass County here, we have over 55 designated businesses - which is wonderful."

Draxten says when parents who choose to breastfeed are supported at work, it helps remove barriers to helping them make that happen.

"Barriers include knowing you have to return to work or school after giving birth, and what does that look like in terms of having a space at work or a flexible schedule to be able to express milk at work. Other barriers include support; whether it be partner support, family support, even community support - those sorts of things. So how can we provide information and educate on the topic of breastfeeding so that any barriers a family may face, we can bring down those barriers so those families can reach those breastfeeding goals."

Draxten says community members are invited to express what breastfeeding means to them through drawings and words using chalk on the sidewalk in front of the main Fargo Cass Public Health Building. Chalk will be provided by FCPH, during business hours.