The Niagara County Department of Health (NCDOH) will provide its mobile breastfeeding and changing station at the Lewiston Peach Festival from Friday to Sunday in an effort to create a safe and friendly environment for new mothers.
Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton said research shows breastfeeding significantly reduces the incidence of chronic disease.
“Because of the direct correlation between breastfeeding and reducing chronic disease, we make every effort to encourage women to breastfeed their babies,” he said. “Part of this encouragement comes in the form of a comfortable, safe and private environment for both mom and her baby. We owe this to both our moms and babies.”
Legislator Rebecca Wydysh, who represents Lewiston, led the effort to ensure a safe and private on-site location for new mothers attending the festival.
“As a mother of two, I can tell you that it was not easy to find a space conducive to breastfeeding and changing my children while attending public events,” she said. “This mobile breastfeeding and changing station will go a long way in offering essential amenities for new moms who want to enjoy community events with their family and friends.”
The mobile station will be operational from 4-8 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The NCDOH Emergency Preparedness Division first purchased the clinic trailer in 2011 out of an Emergency Services Homeland Security grant, originally intended for a multiuse trailer that would support numerous public health capabilities. In 2014, the Emergency Preparedness Division received a grant for its medical reserve corps designed for a breastfeeding initiative.
The division has since utilized the trailer as a breastfeeding and baby-changing station with support from volunteers at the Niagara County Fair. A press release said the trailer remains an asset of the NCDOH Emergency Preparedness as it continues to support numerous public health capabilities.