Breastfeeding to be celebrated tomorrow

Duane Hicks

There’s nothing as natural as a mother breastfeeding her child.
In honour of “World Breastfeeding Week,” a special event will be held tomorrow (Oct. 4) to support the right of children to breastfeed anywhere, anytime.
“In Canada, ‘World Breastfeeding Week’ is held the first week of October. So different communities nationally will hold different events,” explained Melissa Wilson, a public health nurse with the Northwestern Health Unit.
A local coalition called “Coming Together for Kids: Rainy River District Community Coalition”–comprised of different agencies that work with families and children–decided it would be good hold such an event here this year.
“The purpose of it is to promote breastfeeding and really create a supportive environment for moms and babies where women are welcome to breastfeed their babies anytime, anywhere the baby happens to get hungry,” Wilson noted.
Starting at 11 a.m., parents, family members, grandparents, children, and caregivers are invited to take part in a walk to the Rainy Lake Square.
Three separate starting points include the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre, UNFC Circle of Life building (616 Mowat Ave.), and the “Best Start” Hub (1150 Portage Ave.).
Everyone will meet up at the Rainy Lake Square on Scott Street around 11:30 a.m., where all mothers, babies, and children are invited to join the “Latch Mob.”
“This is a event that’s commonly done to celebrate ‘World Breastfeeding Week,'” said Wilson.
“It’s basically where we’ll all feed their babies at the same time, and we do a head count.”
Organizers have registered with a group called the Quintessence Foundation, and will report how many moms breastfeed during the “Latch Mob.”
This number then will be uploaded onto the foundation’s website to track how many moms around the world are breastfeeding at the same time.
There also will be a free lunch (soup and bannock), a play corner for young children, and prizes.
“Family members, moms, dads, siblings all are welcome to come,” said Wilson, adding the event is not only about moms and babies but about recognizing those moms need the support of people around her.
This support could include grandparents assisting with the older children to give mom time to breastfeed her infant son or daughter, family members providing encouragement to a mom if she’s having some struggles, and helping her access support within the community, either from the health unit or another health-care provider.
If it happens to rain tomorrow, the event will take place the Fort Frances Public Library.
To keep up-to-date on any location changes, check out the Northwestern Health Unit or Fort Frances “Best Start” Hub’s Facebook pages.
Questions? Call Wilson at 274-9827 ext. 303644.