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ANTIGONISH: Staff along with community partners, celebrated World Breastfeeding Week, from October 1-7.

The week was used to highlight the importance of supporting a mother who is breastfeeding, and supporting a culture of breastfeeding in local communities.

“We know creating supportive environments for families and moms helps build healthier communities,” says Jennifer Swan, maternal child resource nurse with Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA).

“Having support and encouragement from family, friends, and community is key to success for a breastfeeding mom.”

To raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding, families and community groups including NSHA staff and the Family Place Resource Centre joined together for the annual Quintessence Challenge on October 1. Mothers and babies at sites across Canada and the United States attempted a record for the most babies breastfeeding at the same time.

“We’re hoping that by hosting community awareness events such as the breastfeeding challenge, we can promote the benefits of breastfeeding and increase community support for all breastfeeding moms,” says Michelle Plumridge, public health nutritionist with NSHA.
Local staff, moms and babies have been taking part in the Quintessence Challenge since 2003. In Cape Breton, events took place in both Sydney and Inverness.

Public health nurse Kate Watts helped to organize the event in Inverness.

“Breastfeeding your baby has many benefits, for moms, babies and communities,” says Watts, who works in Inverness.

“Breastfeeding protects mom and babies from developing a number of chronic diseases and creates a bond between mother and child that has many benefits. Breastfeeding is also environmentally friendly because it decreases waste and for families with a limited income, breastfeeding is free and therefore provides food security for baby which can protect them from the impacts of poverty.”