World Breastfeeding Week to be celebrated

Miramichi’s Baby Friendly Committee in partnership with the VON Healthy Baby and Me program, Family Resource Centres, and Mommies and Tummies will be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of October through various activities both in hospital and the community. Events planned include participation in the International Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge, an information display, and a gift basket donated to a new mother who has initiated breastfeeding.

The International Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge will be held on Saturday, October 11 at 10:30 a.m., at the Miramichi Atlantic Superstore’s Community Room for all breastfeeding mothers in the Miramichi region. The challenge will record the most children being breastfed simultaneously at 11 a.m. (local time) across Canada and the United States. Refreshments and door prizes will be available. For more information about this event, women are encouraged to call the VON Healthy Baby and Me program at 773-7005 or Mommies and Tummies at 622-1524.

An information display will also be available in the lobby of the Miramichi Regional Hospital from October 8-10. The display will include information about the importance and benefits of breastfeeding as well as community support information. Gold ribbons will be available at the display and individuals will be encouraged to wear the gold ribbon signifying breastfeeding as the golden standard as the ideal for exclusive and continued breastfeeding.

A new mother who has initiated breastfeeding with her newborn will also be recognized. All mothers of newborns whom are born during World Breastfeeding Week and initiate breastfeeding will have their names entered into a draw to win a gift basket. The basket will be presented at the end of the week.

Research has shown that exclusive and sustained breastfeeding provides a biologically efficient system that gives nutritional, immunological, and emotional nutrition for normal growth and development during the first year and beyond of a child’s life. Breast milk also contains antibodies and other immune factors that help babies fight off illness more effectively.

The Miramichi Regional Hospital and Miramichi Public Health have been working to become a designated World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF Baby- Friendly organization.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) is an international ten-step program established in 1992 by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to promote, support and protect breastfeeding worldwide in hospitals and in the community. Miramichi’s Baby-Friendly committee has been working with its community partners such as the First Nations communities to meet the required Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

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