In celebration of National Breastfeeding Week, mothers and babies are invited to a breastfeeding challenge at the library on Oct. 1.
They will join hundreds of women in Canada for this fun challenge to see which community has the most breastfed babies.
The event, now in its 10th year, started in British Columbia with 856 babies and mothers at 26 sites. By 2009, there were 4,766 babies at 246 sites in 21 countries who took part in this friendly competition. Mothers, babies and other family members are invited to a half-hour story time at 10:30-11 a.m., and the official breastfeeding count starts at 11 am at the library. Women who are pregnant are also invited to attend this community event.
Last year, Toronto tied for first place in Canada and second place in the world out of 272 participating sites for the most children breastfeeding at one time.
Research shows that breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both mother and baby. It reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, as well as gastrointestinal, ear and respiratory infections during infancy and childhood. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of diabetes and of being overweight or obese during adolescence and adulthood.
“There is a lot of pressure on new mothers not to breastfeed, says Elaine Julian, Customer Services Librarian – Children and Youth Services.
“Breastfeeding is challenging, but it’s the most healthy way to start a child’s life,” she adds.
At the Oct. 1 event, public health nurses and nutritionists from Vancouver Island Health Authority will be on hand to answer questions.