Public unveiling of Bozeman Breastfeeds photos will celebrate local breastfeeding families.

Montana ranks first in the nation for the rate of exclusive breastfeeding at the ages of three and six months, a wonderful success! However, there is more work to do. A stigma still exists around breastfeeding in public, which can be uncomfortable for new mothers. Montana law protects a woman and infant’s right to breastfeed in public spaces, with or without the use of a cover.

Bozeman Breastfeeds, a community outreach project, aims to help normalize breastfeeding. This art installation features beautiful life-sized imagery of women breastfeeding in various public locations throughout our community. The exhibit seeks to honor mothers and increase awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.

“Community support makes an incredible difference in the duration and ease of breastfeeding,” says Whitley Begger, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at Gallatin County WIC. “The more people we reach with our cutouts, the more we normalize the beauty and benefits of breastfeeding.”

Breastfeeding is a smart economic choice with proven benefits for our society as a whole. The antibodies in breast milk naturally boost baby’s immune systems resulting in fewer doctor and dentist visits, and fewer childhood allergies. Women who breastfeed have a reduced rate of breast and ovarian cancers. Not to mention, breastfeeding is convenient, saves money and is environmentally friendly!

The public unveiling on November 29, 2018 from 10:30am-2:30pm at the Gallatin City-County Health Department. Light refreshments will be served and breastfeeding counselors will be on hand to answer questions.

Watch for the installation around town, starting with the library. Begger encourages people to take selfies with the cutouts and post them on social media with the hashtag #BozemanBreastfeeds.”

 This project is made possible by a grant from the Montana State Breastfeeding Coalition and has been implemented in Billings, Butte, Kalispell and Missoula. Special thanks to photographer Kim Corcoran, Belly Birth Baby Photography, for donating her time and expertise.