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Health Check: Milkapalooza

Event celebrates families and breastfeeding (Photo: Milkapalooza).

LYNCBHURG, Va. (WSET) - A couple of years ago, Virginia Baptist Hospital identified a trend they didn't like: mothers who wanted to breastfeed were not finding success.

Of the 97% of moms who intended to breastfeed when they give birth at Virginia Baptist, only 60% were succeeding. It can be very overwhelming -- and easy to give up if you don't have good support.

Thanks to a community coalition, 90% of moms are having success when they leave the hospital, according Dr. Rachel Gagen.

"We want to make sure that the community understands they are responsible for our success. They are part of the reason we have more women breastfeeding," Gagen said.

Several groups are coming together to celebrate this during World Breast Feeding Month. The front lawn of Virginia Baptist will transform into Milkapalooza.

Kim Price with Centra said the family friendly event is for not only breastfeeding moms, but the people and businesses who support them.

"It's a lot of work to learn to do all that and I think the more the community understands the benefits and why if we want a healthy Lynchburg we want our moms to breastfeed and be able to support that effort,” Price said. “This is a great way to come out and learn all about it."

Lauren Barnes with The Motherhood Collective said the support they are getting for the actual event is remarkable.

"There are businesses here you might not necessarily think would support breastfeeding,” Barnes said. “But they have said this community's health is importing to us and the women and families of this community are important to us so we will be there to celebrate."

Organizers say just encouraging a new mom, taking her dinner, or holding the baby while she sleeps goes a long way in supporting.

This event will have something for everyone: food trucks, entertainment, bounce houses and information for a healthy family.

Milkapalooza is from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. at Virginia Baptist Hospital. There will be a picture at 10:30 a.m. for all of the moms and babies who are breastfeeding.

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