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Breastfeeding support is available

September 30, 2013 - 1:26 PM

Breast milk is the ultimate convenience food. It’s inexpensive and readily available in the perfect feeding vessel at just the right temperature. Breast milk also improves the health of both babies and moms.  

Children who are breastfed are less likely to develop a number of illnesses including ear infections, asthma, obesity, and respiratory illnesses. Breastfeeding also helps protect mom against certain cancers and osteoporosis.

“Breastfeeding plays an important role in infant growth and development and is one way for new parents to help ensure their newborn gets the best possible start in life,” said Michelle Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Healthy Living. “We are proud to offer new parents access to a variety of easily accessible tools and information to help support babies and mothers in successful breastfeeding.”

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding, with the introduction of solid food, for two years or beyond. Despite all the amazing health benefits, less than 50 per cent of B.C. moms are still breastfeeding at six months even if they want to do so longer term.

“Breastfeeding is natural, but it is not always easy. Learning to breastfeed and becoming comfortable with breastfeeding takes time,” said Joanne Smrek, Regional Knowledge Coordinator, with Interior Health.   “Support from family, friends, health-care providers, and communities can make all the difference in building a woman’s confidence and comfort with breastfeeding.”

Public health nurses are available at health units across Interior Health to assist mothers and infants during the breastfeeding years to ensure families have all the help they need to give babies the best start in life. Contact your local public health unit for more information.

Support is also now just a click away with Healthy Families BC’s new Pregnancy and Parenting section and its hosting of the Breastfeeding Buddy Tool http://healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/breastfeeding-buddy. This innovative tool is a web-based app full of tips, tools, videos, and more to help with breastfeeding. It also contains links to community health resources. 
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in Canada from October 1-7, 2013. This year’s theme, Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, highlights the important role that support and encouragement play in continued breastfeeding success.

Interior Health nurses along with their community partners will be hosting events to mark World Breastfeeding Week. The events aim to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and build support for breastfeeding in communities. All breastfeeding mothers and their supporters are encouraged to get involved.

Community Breastfeeding Events:

Media, breastfeeding mothers and their supporters are invited to attend events in the following areas:


Kamloops : Quintessence Breastfeeding Celebration 2013
-  Date: October 5
Time: Registration at 10:30 a.m. / Latch on at 11 a.m.
-  Location: St Paul’s Cathedral, 360 Nicola Street
Contact: Marion (250) 851-7362

Kelowna: Breastfeeding Challenge
-  Date: October 5
-  Time: Registration 10:30 a.m. / Latch-on at 11:00 a.m. 
-  Location: Farmer and Crafters Market
-  Contact: Linda (250) 575-0173/ 250-868-7730

Penticton: Quintessence Challenge
-  Date: October 5
-  Time: Registration 10 a.m. / Latch-on at 11 a.m. 
-  Location: Penticton Farmer’s Market – 100 block, Main Street  
-  Contact: Dawna or Meggie (250) 770-3418

Salmon Arm: Breastfeeding Matters
Celebrate breastfeeding week and learn about resources available.
-  Date: October 2
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
-  Location: Salmon Arm Health Centre – 851-16th Street NE  
-  Contact: Barb or Heather (250) 833 4101

Vernon:  World Breastfeeding Week celebration
Join us for refreshments, a baby wearing fashion show and door prizes.
-  Date: October 3
-  Time: 10a.m. - 11:30 a.m.         
-  Location:  Vernon Library - 3001 32nd Ave.
-  Contact:  Danielle (250) 549-6332

Vernon: Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge
-  Date: October 5
-  Time: 10:30 a.m. / Latch on at 11 a.m.        
-  Location: Vernon Jubilee Hospital - Polson Tower Level 2 waiting area 
-  Contact: Phyllis or Yolanda (250) 558-1213

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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