Join the challenge

Worldwide breastfeeding event happens Oct. 5 in Mission

Mothers and children across the world will be competing to set the record for the most children breastfeeding at one time on Oct. 5.

In Mission, the annual event takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Mission Health Unit, 7298 Hurd St. This is also a chance for moms and their babies to have some fun and receive some breastfeeding support. Public Health nurses will be available to field questions, light refreshments will be served and each family will be able to take home a free book.

Why this challenge? Breastfeeding has many well-documented benefits including better health for both mothers and babies. According to UNICEF, of the nearly 137 million babies born worldwide, only 32.6 per cent of them breastfeed exclusively in the first six months. The recommendation is for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond together with adequate, appropriate and indigenous complimentary feeding starting from the age of six months.

Two of the biggest hurdles for mothers continue to be lack of support and marginalization by the community. In North America, this lack of support is demonstrated as many women find breastfeeding in public a major barrier.

The Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge began in 2001 in British Columbia Canada with 856 children at 26 sites. By 2012, there were 3,934 children in nine countries at more than 211 sites with 20,000 supporters.

This event takes place as part of World Breastfeeding Week in Canada. In B.C.  a local focused theme is being used — Go Green. Reduce your global footprint. Breastfeeding, the ultimate renewable resource, leaves the smallest footprint.

For more information contact Janice at 604-814-5504 or Laura at 604-820-4367 or visit www.babyfriendly.ca.