Door County Promotes and Celebrates Breastfeeding

World Breastfeeding Week is Aug. 1-7 and many organizations in Door County are working together to celebrate this year’s theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers.”

Teri VanLieshout, peer breastfeeding counselor for the Door County Public Health Department’s Women, Infants & Children Office (WIC) said, “We know that peer support is essential in building breastfeeding rates. We also know there is no better food than breast milk for newborn babies.”

In an effort to build peer support and increase breastfeeding rates, VanLieshout and Door County WIC are part of the Door County Breastfeeding Work Group, a collaborative effort of nursing and breastfeeding professionals and advocates that also includes other offices within the Door County Public Health Department, Young Adult Parent Support (a program of Lakeshore Community Action Program), La Leche League, and Ministry Door County Medical Center.

The efforts of breastfeeding advocates such as the Door County Breastfeeding Work Group seem to be successful. According to the 2012 Breastfeeding Report Card for the United States done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breastfeeding rates continue to rise both for breastfeeding initiation and breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months. The CDC report further showed that Wisconsin is above the U.S. national for multiple outcome and process indicators.

VanLieshout said, “Unfortunately births [in Door County] are getting less each year but we are working on improving breastfeeding rates. We have better than national rates and we are working on improving or maintaining that.”

To help keep breastfeeding rates rising, it is important to distinguish fact from fiction. Weight gain concerns, latch problems, misinformation and other issues can discourage a mother from breastfeeding.

“Women get scared and that is one of the main reasons that people stop breastfeeding. We are trying to get support out there so that women have someone to rely on. It can be really difficult and every little bit of support helps,” noted VanLieshout.

The Door County Breastfeeding Work Group, with the help of grant money from The Women’s Fund of Door County, has grown a breastfeeding support group that meets twice a month. They have also organized a booth at the farmers market in Sturgeon Bay on Aug. 3 from 8:30 am to 12 pm, and a World Breastfeeding Week Celebration at the United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay on Aug. 7 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, with games, door prizes for parents and children, cake and a lunch.

“We want Door County to know that there is quite a bit of breastfeeding support in the community. All new moms should know that there is a place for them to ask questions and find other mothers who are breastfeeding,” said VanLieshout.

In addition to regular support group meetings, The Door County Breastfeeding Work Group has made strides in coordinating what they do at various locations to help new moms. They are ready and available to help ensure that you get the truth and support you need to start and keep breastfeeding your baby.

For more information about Door County’s breastfeeding resources and the Breastfeeding Support Group visit or find the Door County Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook.

For more information on the CDC’s report visit