World Breastfeeding Week being celebrated in Cape Breton

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
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SYDNEY — Cape Breton District Health Authority staff and various community partners are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, with a focus on promoting the importance of community-wide support for mothers who are breastfeeding.

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“In many cases, mothers are off to a really good start with breastfeeding, but then we see a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, practices and exclusive breastfeeding after a few weeks or months,” says Melissa Dakai, breastfeeding support nurse with the district. “Having support and encouragement from family, friends, and community is key to success for a breastfeeding mom.”

To raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding, families and community groups, including district staff and the Family Place Resource Centre, will host the annual Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge, Saturday in the round room on the ground floor of the Civic Centre in Sydney. The challenge involves local mothers and babies who will join with others across Canada and the United States to try to set a record for the most babies breastfeeding at the same time. In addition to the challenge, there is also a 5 km stroller-friendly family walk/run that day.

Registration opens at 8 a.m., the walk/run takes place at 9 a.m., and the breastfeeding challenge for moms and their families will begin at 11 a.m. All events are free of charge. For more information, call 567-7261.

“We need to support breastfeeding as a community, to make it a cultural norm,” says Kim Shebib, public health nurse and certified lactation consultant with the district. “We’re hoping that by hosting community awareness events such as the walk/run and the breastfeeding challenge we can promote the benefits of breastfeeding and increase community support for all breastfeeding moms.”

Dr. Monika Dutt, the district’s medical officer of health, noted that breastfeeding positively impacts the health of babies, moms and communities.

“The benefits of breastfeeding babies for the recommended amount of time include protection from infections, preventing diabetes, and some forms of childhood cancers. It also helps protect mothers from diabetes and some cancers,” said Dr. Dutt. “There are also benefits from the bond formed between mother and baby. Breastfeeding also helps protect the environment by decreasing waste from things like bottles, formula cans, packaging and shipping. For families and mothers with a limited income, breastfeeding is free and therefore provides food security for baby and can protect them from the impacts of poverty.”  

 

Organizations: Family Place Resource Centre, Civic Centre

Geographic location: Cape Breton, Sydney, Canada United States

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