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Breastfeeding billboard contest up and running in Minnesota

To bring attention to the current resurgence in understanding the benefits of breastfeeding, a coalition has launched a campaign to celebrate what that looks like — whether that is exclusively pumping, chestfeeding directly, or a combination of both.

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Breastfeeding shirts created by Sanford Health for National Breastfeeding Week.
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Normalizing breastfeeding is one goal of a new billboard campaign in southern Minnesota.

Billboards went up at the beginning of August featuring local women and their families doing something natural — feeding their babies human milk, according to the South Central Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition.

To bring attention to the current resurgence in understanding the benefits of breastfeeding, the coalition, in partnership with WIC and Public Health, have launched a campaign to celebrate what that looks like — whether that is exclusively pumping, chestfeeding directly, or a combination of both.

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To spread the message, the public is encouraged to take note of the campaign through a contest. The billboards, in Nicollet and Martin counties, offer a chance for people to win one of three breast pumps to help them or someone they know on their breastfeeding journey.

To participate in the contest, participants are asked to take a selfie with one of the billboards in the background and post it on Facebook, tagging the coalition. For each billboard tagged, the entrant receives one entry into the drawing. If someone tags themselves with all four billboards, they will get a fifth entry, increasing their chance to win.

Important rule: Photos must not be taken while driving.

"Breastfeeding has been an available option for nearly all who give birth, but for a variety of reasons, is often seen as a challenge or too hard for most people," said Kylie Saari, breastfeeding coordinator for Faribault and Martin counties in a statement.

"While nearly all providers agree that breastmilk is the best option for nearly all babies, families need support to accomplish this task. The South Central Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition, WIC and Public Health have worked hard to ensure breastfeeding support is available to all Minnesotans," she stated.

The coalition is a group of breastfeeding professionals and supporters whose mission is to promote healthy babies, families and communities. It serves families in Brown, Nicollet, Blue Earth, Martin, Faribault, Le Sueur, Waseca and Watonwan counties.

"One thing we heard from our clients is that they just didn't know people around here breastfeed — they don't see it," Saari said. "It is something that some families feel should be done at home behind closed doors or that it can hinder a family's lifestyle. These billboards show that local women do breastfeed, and it is OK to be seen doing it."

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