Are you going to be a part of this year’s Global Breastfeeding Challenge? The Quintessence Foundation is holding its Breastfeeding Challenge 2009 this October 3rd with “latch on” occurring at 11am. Last year, there were 300 sites with over 7,632 babies in 19 countries. All that is needed is at least one breastfeeding mother and child. Anyone can register a site and it costs nothing! This year, Mary at Mother Mary’s Soapbox found out that her town wasn’t hosting the challenge so she took it upon herself to organize one at her local library and has already lined up media coverage! If you live in Kansas, check her out!
If you know at least one breastfeeding mother invite her to ask a breastfeeding friend and take part. If two or three mothers each ask a friend, they can gather to share coffee and be counted in! Annie at PhDinParenting is taking part in the Challenge in Ottawa and is asking how many of her readers might join her. She is also asking whomever participates in one of the locations to leave a comment and let her know about their experience so she can then pull together a post with all of your experiences after the event. Great idea Annie!
The Breastfeeding Challenge is easy, it’s cheap and it makes a point — Breastfeeding and donor milk banking is important! Combating bottle imagery with real live moms nursing real live babies is important too. The Quintessence Foundation is calling all women in the WORLD to support this effort! Register a site or just pass the message onto a friend who might be interested. Dial up www.babyfriendly.ca for more information. Be counted in as supporting women’s choice to breastfeed their children!
*** What can you do?? 1) Check out the website to see if there is a site near you. 2) If there is… copy down the details and show up! 3) If there isn’t a site in your area – Check your calendar, call up a nursing friend and register! There are lots of things you can do. A site can simply be a couple mothers at a coffee shop or going to the movies! **
This year will be my fourth year taking part in the Breastfeeding Challenge. It would have been my fifth, but I missed the first one I was eligible to attend because my daughter was only a couple weeks old and I wasn’t quite on the ball yet. I love attending because it’s a great feeling to nurse among so many other moms. You get a certificate of participation too, which I like to put in each of my children’s scrapbooks.
This year is a special one in my town because our local public health unit is celebrating its 90th year and we are holding the Challenge at the unit’s original location, just outside the buiding at our Saturday Farmer’s Market. I am hoping that holding it in an open public place will result in increased exposure for breastfeeding, especially for the young women who aren’t moms yet whose perception of the normalcy of breastfeeding and future paractices might change upon seeing a large group of happy breastfeeding mamas. The one year we held it at the town square was awesome for increasing public awareness, whereas the other years when it was held inside our rec centre and public health unit, numbers were low and no one was there to witness the event except the organizers and moms taking part. Nursing in public with a large group of mothers is a very good thing for breastfeeding!
I think the practice of breastfeeding with other women (in public no less!) does great things for our collective self-esteem and confidence in breastfeeding, and the women who bring their toddlers act as great role models for the moms with infants.
This year at the Breastfeeding Challenge our local chapter of La Leche League is holding a raffle and silent auction for some awesome community donated prizes. Even though most of my readers don’t live here I wanted to mention our sponsors anyway. Trendy Tots is offering a nursing pillow, valued at $70.00 (sorry I don’t know the brand yet, but I can find out if you are interested), Belly Love is offering four post-natal yoga classes, Hilary, a local herbalist and mama is offering some salves and homemade baby clothes, Izzie and Olliez is offering some locally made nipple cream, Kinderbeez is offering a paint-on rubber boots kit, Little Inkers is offering some organic cotton or bamboo children’s wear, Coffee on the Moon is offering $30.00 worth of gift certificates, and Island Bagel is offering a dozen bagels. We are hoping this will be a big fundraiser for our otherwise poor LLL group. If you live in the Cowichan region and would like to buy a ticket or make a bid, then please contact me directly.
So, will you attend this year’s Breastfeeding Challenge? Will you take the challenge and organize one for your own town? Leave a comment and let me know!