Madison was recently recognized as a best city for breastfeeding moms, alongside San Francisco, Chicago, San Antonio, New York, and Washington D.C. The designation highlights the Madison city breastfeeding ordinance that fines people for interfering with breastfeeding in private or public spaces, as well as a Dane County resolution requiring every county-owned building to provide a lactation space.
Public Health Madison & Dane County is working to make Madison even more lactation-friendly--with a specific focus on supporting communities of color, who often face more challenges than white families due to systemic factors like jobs where it is harder to find a space to pump. In 2018, our team, via state Maternal and Child Health grant dollars, supported three community-based organizations (Harambee Village Doulas, African American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County, and Centro Hispano) to provide doula and lactation support.
We also conducted a First Food Desert evaluation of the South Park Street corridor to identify areas without publicly available lactation spaces. This evaluation led to the purchase of a Mamava that was placed in the South Park Street Public Health Atrium for employee and public use. We supported the creation or enhancement of 13 lactation rooms throughout the county, and continue to offer this micro-funding support to community organizations and businesses in 2019. We have also purchased a lactation tent that will be available for city or organization use at public outdoor events. We, alongside the Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin, keep an inventory of pumping-friendly sites in the county.
While Madison is a lactation-friendly city, there is a need to increase the availability of publicly available spaces for pumping or breastfeeding. A number of city-owned spaces that are frequented by families in need of this support include Warner Park Community Center, the Goodman South Madison Library, and the Madison metro transfer points. As PHMDC identifies additional First Food Deserts throughout the city, additional Mamava or other lactation space purchases may be warranted. Thank you for your support in elevating Madison's status as a supportive environment for families!
On April 19th from 11 am to 2 pm at the Village on Park, PHMDC will host an open house of community breastfeeding resources, including its exciting new lactation pod! This pod is available for community members who need a private place to breastfeed or pump. We invite you to check it out, eat a lactation cookie, and learn more about Madison's lactation resources--particularly how three inspiring community-based organizations are supporting women of color in their lactation goals.?