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Average Time New Mothers In Wisconsin Breastfeed On Par With National Average

Lactation Consultant: Despite Gains In Societal Acceptance, Many Moms Hesitant To Breastfeed In Public

A decal reading "Breastfeeding Welcomed Here"
Mark Humphrey/AP Photo

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that while roughly 80 percent of Wisconsin’s new mothers breastfeed their babies, only about 60 percent are still doing it after six months.

That’s a figure that mirrors the national average.

The Breastfeeding Report Card released earlier this month looks at data from babies born in 2015.

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Allison Laverty Montag, an international board-certified lactation consultant in Winnebago County, said the earliest weeks are a crucial time for breastfeeding moms.

“Sometimes, I talk to mothers who are going back to school or work one or two weeks postpartum. Breastfeeding is not even firmly established at that point,” she said.

Despite gains in societal acceptance of breastfeeding, many women still hesitate to do it outside the home for fear of being confronted, Montag said.

“I know mothers who, the only time they give formula, is if they’re going out into public, because they are afraid someone’s going to say something to them.”

Montag said one factor that can interfere with breastfeeding is the necessity for mothers to return to work or school after a relatively short maternity leave.