Loving Support: Vermont Celebrates Achievements in Breastfeeding Promotion at Loving Support Lawn Party on July 9

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2004

Media Contact: Vermont Department of Health
Communication Office
802- 863-7281

BURLINGTON, VT – Vermont will be celebrating its achievements in making the state a breastfeeding friendly place to be for moms and their babies. A Loving Support Lawn Party will be held on Friday, July 9 from 11 am to 1 pm on the Statehouse lawn.

Governor Douglas will sign a proclamation at the event proclaiming July as “Breastfeeding Promotion Month” in Vermont.

The Loving Support Lawn Party will include information about the health benefits of breastfeeding, face painting, a coloring contest, raffle, and story time for children. Ice cream will be served from the back of a WIC food delivery truck that is specially painted with a “Loving Support” ad that promotes breastfeeding.

Speakers at the event include Governor Jim Douglas, Health Commissioner Paul Jarris, Veronica Hychalk, vice president of professional services at Northeastern Vermont Medical Center and Margaret O’Toole from central Vermont Hospital.

“This event celebrates our success and reaffirms our continued commitment to keeping Vermont a breastfeeding - friendly place,” said Vermont Commissioner of Health Paul Jarris, MD, MBA. “It is an opportunity for us to thank the mothers, health care professionals, employers and community organizers who have worked so hard to get Vermont to this point.”

The Vermont Women, Infant and Children’s program (WIC) of the Department of Health has been funding breastfeeding - friendly communities in Vermont as part of its “Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work” promotion.  In the last 10 years, breastfeeding among WIC mothers in Vermont has nearly doubled.

This year, two WIC delivery companies have volunteered to place the Loving Support logo on their trucks. Beginning in July, the WIC trucks will deliver more than milk to Vermont children and their families. Trucks bearing the ”Loving Support” logo will be on the road delivering the breastfeeding promotion message to 42 towns, four times a month, 12 months a year. Each truck will average 52,000 miles per year of Vermont “road time” promoting breastfeeding.

“We would like to extend our thanks to the owners of both delivery companies: Daily Bread Delivery of Brandon and Don Maynard’s Delivery of Hyde Park,” said Dr. Jarris. “The truck from Daily Bread Delivery will be at the lawn party and we hope many people will stop by to enjoy the celebration and check out the truck.”

Breast milk is a complete form of nutrition for infants, enhancing their growth and development. It has just the right combination of fat, sugar, water and protein that is needed for a baby’s growth and development. Breast milk contains antibodies to help protect infants from bacteria and viruses and to help them fight off infection and disease.

“Employers in Vermont realize these benefits, too. The Department’s Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Project formally recognized 45 employers and businesses in 2003 and 16 more to date this year that have made accommodation to make the worksite breastfeeding friendly for their employees,” said Dr. Jarris.   

“Breastfeeding is one of the most basic and cost effective acts a mother can do to improve her child’s health,” said Dr. Jarris. “And perhaps most importantly, breastfeeding helps strengthen the bond that links a mother with her child.”

To find out more about the Loving Support Lawn Party, contact the Vermont Department of Health at 802-863-7333. More information about breastfeeding can be found on the Vermont Department of Health’s website at www.healthyvermonters.info.