WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– The Forsyth County Health Department has received a $5,000 grant from the North Carolina Public Health Association to buy stickers and signs saying “breastfeeding welcome here” in hopes of getting restaurants, stores, churches and other public places to display them.
The goal behind the campaign is to increase the number of mothers who breastfeed.
Medical evidence suggests breastfeeding reduces a child’s risk of obesity, diabetes, childhood obesity, SIDS and prevents infections.
The Forsyth County Health Department says if more mothers knew their rights and knew businesses supported breastfeeding, more mothers would breastfeed.
Adam Andrews of Jeffery Adams restaurant on Fourth Street in Winston-Salem says sometimes breastfeeding upsets people.
“We’ve had guests say excuse me sir there is a lady breastfeeding in public its offending us. We approach it saying we can’t do anything about it and ask them to turn heads the other way,” said Adams.
North Carolina law allows breastfeeding in any public place, at any time, covered or not.
Adams says as a father he would post the signs to help educate customers, mothers or not.
Jasmine Getrow-Moore with the Forsyth County Health Department believes the stickers will open the door for talks about breastfeeding.
“I think that starting the discussion is the first step and that’s what this sticker does,” said Getrow-Moore.
Moore says people associate breasts with sex instead of the natural healthy interaction of breastfeeding. She says that needs to change.
Forsyth County Health officials say if the number of mothers breastfeeding increases that would likely help bring down the number of infant deaths. Forsyth County leads the state in infant mortality.