New mothers encouraged to continue breastfeeding after returning to work

Moms OK to pump at work

Mothers who breastfeed are being celebrated this Sunday at Okanagan Regional Library in Vernon.

The event is hosted by Interior Health and will have guest speakers, door prizes and an opportunity for people to share their own stories.

Danielle Violini is a public health and maternity care nurse with IH. She says Canadians are fortunate to have a government that supports a 12-month maternity leave.

“Mothers from other countries are not so lucky,” she says.

Those countries allow working mothers paid time throughout their workday to breastfeed or pump, but in most cases, the moms are back to work within weeks of having a baby and not a year, like Canadians.

Violini says whenever the return to work date is for a mother, it’s good to have a conversation with employers about allowing time to continue nursing.

“Whether that is setting up a designated spot to breastfeed or pump or talking about an extra-long lunch so they can go and feed their baby,” she adds.

Sunday’s celebration will include a 'latch-on' event as part of the Quintessence Challenge, which aims to promote breastfeeding and public support for “Human Milk for Human Babies.”

Quintessance is a B.C. based organization that started the latch-on event back in 2001. By 2016, more than 4,000 moms participated in over six countries.

Sunday’s breastfeeding celebration runs at the Vernon Library from 1 to 3p.m. and Violini says the event is open to anyone who has breastfeeding in their past, present or future.

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