Annual Breastfeeding Challenge is back
Oct 5, 2013 / 1:08 pm
Approximately 88 children latched on to their mothers at The Kelowna Farmer’s and Crafter’s Market at Springfield and Dilworth for Saturdays Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge.
The international event is a challenge to find out which geographic area (province, state or territory) has the most breastfeeding babies, as a percentage of the birthrate.
“This is part of World Breastfeeding Week to bring awareness to the benefits of breastfeeding and why we need to do it,” said Lisa Ford of the Kelowna Breastfeeding Café, who organized the local challenge. The Breastfeeding Café is a local support group for breastfeeding moms with weekly meetings around Kelowna.
Celia Brown-Clayton has participated in the challenge for three years now and brought along her one-year-old son Caden Kennedy.
“We are here today to try and spread awareness that this is normal and that all babies do it.”
In the past, Celia was told not to nurse her first child in a public pool and now feels many people need more education on the realities of breastfeeding.
“It’s my baby’s right and my right to nurse wherever and whenever I need to,” she said.
“If we normalize it for kids then they are more likely to nurse their own children some day without any shame.”
The Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge began in 2001 in British Columbia Canada with 856 children at 26 sites. By 2010, there were 4,373 children in eighteen countries at over 213 sites with a total of over 20,000 supporters. Kelowna celebrated its most successful turnout last year, with 65 babies latched.
Registration began at 10:30 a.m., with official “latch on” at 11:00 a.m. and the event also included a raffle, with prizes provided by local businesses. The international theme this year is a celebration of the importance of peer support and its ability to increase breastfeeding rates.
According to Lisa Ford, many women fail to meet their own breastfeeding goals and wean their children prematurely, well before meeting recommended guidelines. Two of the biggest hurdles for mothers continue to be lack of support and marginalization by the community.
Gail Rose is from Kelowna and came to the event with her daughter and two-year-old granddaughter, Autumn.
“I believe that one can be discreet,” she said. “And most women are but I don’t think they have to be hidden away in a dark corner somewhere while they feed their baby. I think that’s nuts. But I do believe you can be discreet.”
For those who are uncomfortable with the sight of a nursing mother, Lisa Ford has some words of advice.
“Get over it,” she said.
For more information on Kelowna Breastfeeding Café, visit this website.
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