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When asked about the benefits of nursing, she replied, “Obviously, there are health benefits with his nutrition and vitamins in the breast milk, but it is also a source of comfort, and it helps us bond. Before I had children, I knew I would always breastfeed, but no one could convey the depth of the bond.”
“This is our effort to normalize and create spaces for mothers to breastfeed their babies, so we are going to be working with not only elected officials, but local businesses, faith-based organizations, barbershops and salons,” Dr. Aletha Maybank, assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told the AmNews.“I can’t think of anything better than when elected officials are so supportive and take the wheel.”
With his big yellow button on his lapel, Cornegy reiterated that he is a staunch supporter of the Pregnant Worker Protection Act and the Health Department’s Brooklyn Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone Project, which services Bedford-Stuyvesant.
In a statement, the councilman’s office said, “The Brooklyn Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone, funded in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is a community-based initiative to support moms in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville who are interested in breastfeeding. This will be done by providing in-home breastfeeding support and counseling to new mothers and providing education and support to new fathers. The Health Department will also work with local businesses and faith- and community-based organizations to establish spaces where women can breastfeed.”
As a part of a multifaceted strategy to promote breastfeeding, the Health Department also partners with maternity hospitals and birthing centers, runs a text messaging campaign called Mobile Milk and offers two home visiting programs, the Newborn Home Visiting Program and Nurse-Family Partnership, to educate and support breastfeeding mothers before and after delivery. It also produces a number of breastfeeding educational materials that are available through 311. For more information, visit nyc.gov/health.
“I just wanted a safe place for moms to be able to feed their children,” Cornegy said. “They can come into this office and feel comfortable.”
In partnership with the Health Department, the new district office will be hosting a series of “Know Your Rights” workshops to educate employers, employees and community residents about breastfeeding. Workshops for employees will be held on Wednesday, March 19 and Wednesday, April 9 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Workshops for employees and community residents will be held on Wednesday, March 26 and Wednesday, April 23 from noon to 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, Cornegy said that the district office will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with evening hours every Thursday until 8 p.m. and Saturday hours the first weekend of every month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.