BURLINGTON – Moms have an opportunity to breastfeed their infant while still being able to enjoy outdoor community events. The Alamance County WIC program has recently introduced a new community initiative, the Lactation Station, to create an environment where breastfeeding moms feel safe and welcomed to breastfeed while attending community events. The Lactation Station is a private, comfortable space that moms can go to breastfeed, pump, or change their infants while out at community events. Amenities provided at the station include chairs, fans, during warmer weather, a changing table, and electric outlets for those who need to express milk.

The space has already been a success at six events since its debut in March 2019, including the St. Patty’s Day Bash in Burlington and Slice of Summer in Graham. In the short time the Lactation Station has been available, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response. Moms with older children have expressed their gratitude and sentiment wishing there had been something available years ago when they were breastfeeding. Dads were also thankful for the space for the support it offers. With scorching temperatures at the last two events, breastfeeding moms have expressed such gratitude that they did not have to go to their car, or sit somewhere with a blanket in the heat. All the organizers of these events have been encouraging of this innovative idea and the service it is providing for the community.

In addition to supporting moms, the Lactation Station is meant to spark conversation about the benefits of breastfeeding in efforts to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates within the County. “We are hoping that by providing a mobile lactation station that we can rally and inform the community around the benefits of breastfeeding and support our moms who are breastfeeding,” stated Sarah Austin, Alamance County WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator

Check out the Lactation Station for yourself, while learning more about the many benefits of breastfeeding, at the World Breastfeeding Week event on August 7 at Burlington Community Health Center and at “Boo in the Park” on October 27 at City Park in Burlington.

WIC, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, is a service for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five. The WIC Program promotes healthy habits for families through nutrition education and counseling services, breastfeeding promotion and support, referrals to other health and community resources, and healthy foods.

To be eligible for WIC services, mom or child must:

  • Live in North Carolina.
  • Have a family income less than 185% of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. For a household of two, that would be anything less than an annual income of $31,285. A person receiving Medicaid, Work First Families Assistance (TANF), or assistance from the NC Food and Nutrition Services automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.
  • Be at nutritional risk. This will be assessed by a nutritionist or other health professional at no cost to the participant at the WIC office.

For more information about WIC or to make an appointment, visit the Alamance County WIC office, located at the county Health Department, at 319 N. Graham-Hopedale Road, Burlington, or call 336-570- 6745. You may also visit the website at https://www.nutritionnc.com/wic/.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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