“Breastival” raises awareness and educates
© AMANDA JESS - THE NEWS
Shannon MacDonald feeds her two and a half year old son, Caislin, during the Quintessence Challenge at New Glasgow’s “Breastival” on Oct. 5.
Babies across the world latched on to feed from their mothers at 11 a.m. on Saturday, including in New Glasgow.
“The Quintessence Challenge” was part of World Breastfeeding Week in an attempt to show solidary with mothers everywhere.
The New Glasgow’s Farmer’s Market and the Pictou County Health Authority held a celebration Oct. 5 with puppet theatre for children, cookies, and information about support in the community for breastfeeding families.
“We’re trying to promote the healthiest and safest way to feed your baby,” said Irene Vihant, nutritionist with the PCHA.
Throughout the morning, vendors and customers were very receptive to the celebration coined a “Breastival,” Vihant said.
Information was available from many local organizations such as La Leche League and the Kid’s First Family Resource Centre.
Much of it focused on teaching children how normal it is to breastfeed through books, posters and puppets.
Although the health authority provides support to all mothers regardless of how they choose to feed their child, they try to promote the nutritional, as well as monetary, value of breastfeeding.
They calculated the annual price of bottle-feeding a child is over $1,200 versus just under $400 for breastfeeding.
Vihant and other breastfeeding advocates were hearing from mothers, grandmothers and fathers in support of breastfeeding as well as stories from vendors with their own experiences.
Support for mothers is exactly what Vihant and the World Health Organization wants.
“The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and community,” said the WHO in a press release for WBW.
Support was the theme for the 21st annual WBW. Vihant stressed the importance of mother-to-mother help as well as general inclusiveness from the community.
“We just want women to feel comfortable breastfeeding anywhere, anytime.”
The health authority has recently started going to local businesses to pass out decals showing support as well as information sheets with tips on how to help.
They’re approached ten businesses in New Glasgow and haven’t been turned down by any.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda