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I want to acknowledge the growth, acceptance and spread of education to our community regarding breastfeeding. A few years ago a shopping facility violated the Montana state law regarding breastfeeding when a mother was asked to leave for exposing her breast while breastfeeding. I have recently breastfed my baby twins in a restaurant, and I did not receive one second glance.

I am so proud that citizens of Missoula have reached acceptance that breast milk is the food for our children. It is hard enough for a mother to get around with young children, without worry about how they are going to feed them too. Breast milk is always available, at the perfect temperature, whenever and wherever that breastfeeding mother is with her child.

According to the Centers for Disease Control website, so far in 2013, 37.2 percent of all children born in Montana were still breast-feeding at 12 months, compared to 30.6 percent in 2009. I believe the increase in breastfeeding our children is due to educating our public on the many benefits for a healthier child and mother.

Community Medical Center deserves great acknowledgement for supporting breastfeeding to the mothers of our community from the first few minutes of life. Jennifer Stires – a registered nurse, certified lactation consultant and the owner of the Nursing Nook – is always a great advocate and educator for the mothers who choose to breastfeed in Missoula. St. Patrick Hospital has two rooms available for staff and visitors to find a comfortable, clean environment to pump or breastfeed. There are many other programs and support groups for breastfeeding available in Missoula such as WIC, and the La Leche League.

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Thank you, Missoula, for your support helping mothers of our community choose to feed our children healthier and naturally.

Tiffany Manthie, Missoula

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