Breastfeeding mothers now have a quiet and convenient place to go to feed their babies at the Crow Wing County Fair.
A “Rock and Rest” tent, located in the Crow Wing County Community Services booth in Commercial Building No. 3, is new at the fair. T
he booth not only provides educational materials on the benefits of breastfeeding, but a place for mothers to nurse their babies. The tent has a rocking chair and ottoman, nursing pillows, a fan, a changing table, and some toys and coloring supplies for older children who need to wait for their mothers to feed a younger brother or sister.
Leah Jacobson of Ironton, a graduate student in lactation consulting is interning at Crow Wing County Public Health, mostly with its WIC program. She is at public health on Fridays to help mothers with any breastfeeding concerns they may have. She is working on becoming a board-certified lactation consultant. She hopes the tent concept is a spring board for other community breastfeeding initiatives, including the formation of a breastfeeding coalition.
“We’re really hoping the tent can spur discussion and hopefully movement toward a breastfeeding coalition — of the hospitals, grassroots organizations, public health — to make sure we have uniformity and support for breastfeeding women,” Jacobson explained. “With really no budget or coalition to support us, community services gave us half of their booth, a space to put up a tent. We’re hoping we can get a lot of women to use it and hopefully the fair board and others will recognize the need for this so we can expand it and have a regular stop.”
County fair week also coincides with World Breastfeeding Week, sponsored by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.
“It’s a nice place in the shade to put your feet up and feed your baby,” Jacobson explained, of the tent. “Moms who want to feed their baby a bottle certainly are invited, too.”
A similar breastfeeding booth was offered at the county fair back in 1999.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.