Local mothers will be participating in the 12th World Breastfeeding Challenge at Gyro Park on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. The purpose of this event is to increase public awareness that breastfeeding is the best choice for both babies and mothers. For the both of them their short and long-term health is greatly improved by just doing what was intended naturally.
It is a huge disservice to humanity when this healthy and natural act is viewed as too difficult or offensive. All women need to be supported to make the best choice for themselves and their babies while they are pregnant and then to be successful at breastfeeding when their babies are born. This is the responsibility of family, friends, community and culture and unfortunately we in Canada are still failing at this.
Our statistics show that while many women chose to breastfeed (Grand Forks 94 per cent), not very many are able to continue for the recommended duration of two years or more. Yes, that’s right; breast milk is so healthy for moms and babes that all leading organizations in maternal and infant health recommend that children be breastfed for two years or more. But our public health records of 2007 show that by six months only 52 per cent are still breastfeeding.
Locally, the Baby’s Best Chance, Public Health staff and Prenatal Classes are here to educate, support and assist mothers in this process as sometimes there can be challenges which require assistance. Additionally, there is a Breastfeeding Cafe group that runs every Tuesday from 10 – 11:30 a.m. to educate and support women interested in breastfeeding.
As World Breastfeeding Week is Oct. 1 -7 you will see all sorts of displays around Grand Forks with information and images of breastfeeding to celebrate the fact that breastfeeding is beautiful and best for all of us.