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FAMILY-FRIENDLY FAIR

- Family Friendly Space at the Lindsay Exhibition Offers Private Breastfeeding Area -

(LINDSAY) – With the Lindsay Exhibition just days away, visions of Ferris wheels, fast rides, demolition derbies and livestock displays are sure to appeal to local residents.

A private breastfeeding area for moms and their babies may not readily come to mind for people when they think about the fair, but it too will be a reality at the event that takes place September 18 to 22 at the Lindsay Fairgrounds.

The Ontario Early Years Centre Haliburton Victoria Brock (OEYC HVB) and the City of Kawartha Lakes Breastfeeding Coalition have joined forces again this year in providing a family-friendly space at the Lindsay Exhibition. The OEYC trailer, situated next to the poultry barn during the fair, provides a space for women to breastfeed and change their babies. Information about OEYC programs, breastfeeding resources, and the coalition will be available from OEYC staff at the trailer.

“We are so pleased that the Lindsay Exhibition is continuing to offer a family-friendly environment supportive of breastfeeding,” say Megan Gill-Vander Wielen, who co-chairs the local Breastfeeding Coalition.

“While the Ontario Human Rights Commission clearly states that women have the right to breastfeed in public spaces, many women fear offending others should they feed in public spaces,” adds Kari Kelsey, the other co-chairperson of the Breastfeeding Coalition. “This can be a barrier for women continuing to breastfeed for as long as they would like.”

Research shows that breastfed babies have a reduced risk of childhood infections, chronic diseases and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Mothers benefit as women lose weight more quickly after having their babies, and reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and brittle bones in their later years. Breastfeeding is convenient, always available, and is less expensive for families, and reduces waste for the environment.

Most families are aware of the importance of breastfeeding, but do not feed their babies for as long as they would like due to a lack of support. The Breastfeeding Coalition was established to address this issue. The coalition’s aim is to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in the City of Kawartha Lakes, to provide support for people working to make positive changes in breastfeeding practices, and to promote positive societal attitudes towards breastfeeding.

For more information about breastfeeding support and resources, call the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit at (705) 324-3569 and ask to speak with a Family Health Nurse, or visit www.hkpr.on.ca . For more information about the OEYC or the Breastfeeding Coalition, call the Ontario Early Years Centre office at (705) 324-7900 or visit www.oeyc.ca.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Megan Gill-Vander Wielen, Ontario Early Years Centre, (705) 324-7900,

or Cindy Hutchinson, Family Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569.

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