Breastfeeding has been making headlines — from The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to the First Lady’s Let’s Move Campaign to a passionate advocacy and support network to multiple celebrity endorsements. Using this momentum, Milk for Thought is taking the energy, passion and dedication of the breastfeeding community on the road — for 45 days, 30-plus cities, and 1 goal, to support, empower and connect the breastfeeding community. The “Latch On America Tour” embarked from San Diego, California, on July 14.
Goals of the Latch On America Tour include supporting the 20 steps of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action for breastfeeding, connecting new moms with lactation experts, increasing awareness for local breastfeeding resources, and learning about and document the unique breastfeeding culture in each city. Along the way, a documentary crew will capture the amazing breastfeeding stories of mothers and advocates as well as profiling organizations that are taking action to empower breastfeeding moms. When the road trip was announced, Milk for Thought founder Ryan Comfort was wowed by the passionate response from breastfeeding supporters in cities and towns across the country — from Poughkeepsie to the Navajo Nation to Seattle — who rallied to bring the big pink bus to their city. “The Latch On America Tour started with an initial idea to rent an RV and drive cross-country to meet all the amazing supporters and moms who are taking action for the breastfeeding community. Now, because of the excitement and overwhelming response we got, the trip has gotten bigger, 40 feet of pink bus bigger, with stops in more than 30 cities!” Comfort says. “We are thrilled for the Latch On America Tour to make two stops in Indianapolis. After talking to several community leaders and supporters, it was clear that the city has a very strong, creative breastfeeding community. In the morning at the Day Nursery Early Care and Education Center, we are especially excited to highlight the We Care for Breastfed Babies campaign led by the Indiana Perinatal Network. This simple guide is designed to help child care providers encourage and support breastfeeding mothers and families. Child care facilities all over Indiana are currently receiving breastfeeding training so they can proudly display the We Care for Breastfed Babies decal, helping consumers to make informed child care choices. The afternoon stop will draw attention to the wonderful work of the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank in providing Lactation Stations – clean, comfortable places for breastfeeding women – at community events throughout the state. Volunteers, partnering organizations, and, most importantly, mothers and babies will gather at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to network and learn about the services that IMMB and other organizations provide.” Organizations from all across the state will be present and providing information about resources and services. “Indiana is becoming a leader for breastfeeding. It’s great to have all of our passion and hard work be recognized on a national level. I hope everybody comes down to greet the bus and celebrate our successes,” said Tina Cardarelli, Indiana State Breastfeeding Coordinator. “We are going to meet some incredible people and inspire others,” says Comfort. “Really, we are just honored to collaborate to provide real solutions and support not just to breastfeeding moms, but also to their support network.”
Stop 1 Day Nursery, IU Health Early Care and Education Center 2140 Boulevard Place, Indianapolis, 46202 Northwest of IU Health Methodist Hospital near 21st & Senate Avenue TIME: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Stop 2 Indiana State Fairgrounds 1202 E. 28th Street, Indianapolis, 46205 Enter through Gate 6 and proceed to the southeast parking lot TIME: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Both events are free and open to the public. There will games, educational activities, and great prizes at both events, with the goal of highlighting the great work organizations throughout Indiana are doing to promote and support breastfeeding. Moms, babies, children, and family members are encouraged to come.
Breastfeeding is beautiful, but it’s not always easy. Every mother who wants to breastfeed should have easy access to the love, support and encouragement she needs in one friendly and reliable place. MilkforThought.com works collaboratively with all members of the breastfeeding community to help new moms have a successful breastfeeding journey by connecting them to local experts and counselors, baby-friendly hospitals and birthing centers, support groups, and other mothers. By providing an online platform, the entire support community can comprehensively support new parents, change attitudes, improve national rates of breastfeeding, and impact legislation.