Hundreds of women are expected to show up at the Bell Tower on Capitol Square Saturday morning at 10:30 and breastfeed their baby. It's to promote healthy babies — and send the message that breast milk is better than formula.
Project director for Richmond's Healthy Start Initiative, Rose Stith Singleton would know — she's been working to lower Richmond's high infant mortality rate for years. She's also spearheading the synchronized breastfeeding event along with Bon Secours, HCA, and VCU.
"The research is very clear that breastfeeding is the best nutrition you can give your child," said Singleton.
She said children who are not breastfed have an increased risk of infant mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, to name a few.
The demonstration will start precisely at 10:30 a.m. when all the mothers will start breastfeeding their child for a whole minute right in front of the State Capitol.
Richmond city worker Stormy Noland is currently a nursing mom.
"It's a powerful front. It encourages women to do this, because there is a stigma still around breastfeeding, and we're trying to get rid of that stigma," said Noland.
Noland enjoys the lactation room the city provides but said one reason why mothers opt for formula is because breastfeeding is not always easy to manage.
Three years ago, protesters picketed a North Carolina Denny's restaurant after one mom said she was kicked out for breastfeeding.
Things are changing, and supporters hope the public will pay attention to the message behind the demonstration.
Registration takes place at 9:30 a.m. Women are invited to bring their babies.
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