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LET’S CELEBRATE

- Newly-Formed Coalition to Host Breastfeeding Challenge and Celebration this Saturday in Cobourg -

(COBOURG) – There will be more in store at the Northumberland Mall this coming Saturday, as a new coalition gathers to celebrate and promote breastfeeding.

The newly-formed Northumberland Breastfeeding Coalition is hosting a Breastfeeding Challenge and Celebration on Saturday, October 4, from 10 am to noon in the centre court of the mall. The free event – which coincides with World Breastfeeding Week (October 1-7) – features activities for the entire family, including face painting, music, prizes and refreshments. At 11 am, mothers will be encouraged to breastfeed their babies as part of a worldwide challenge to set a record for the most children breastfeeding at one time.

“We welcome the entire Northumberland community to join in the challenge or just come out to the event to celebrate and support breastfeeding families,” says Cheryl Baker, an event organizer and Family Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “We‟re very pleased to be able to launch the new breastfeeding coalition in a public venue like Northumberland Mall, because it reflects the importance of families being able to breastfeed their babies any place and anytime.”

In April, the Northumberland Breastfeeding Coalition was formed by a group of local residents, including breastfeeding mothers, lactation consultants, prenatal educators and representatives from the Health Unit, the La Leche League, Highlands Shores Children‟s Aid, and Port Hope Community Health Centre. The coalition‟s main goal is to support women who choose to breastfeed so that they can breastfeed their children up to two years and beyond.

“The coalition also wants to actively create breastfeeding-friendly environments in Northumberland County to make it a normal and accepted practice to breastfeed in public,” adds Cindy Buttar, a coalition member and mother from Hamilton Township.

Cindy has personal motivation for ensuring breastfeeding in public is considered acceptable. Even though the Ontario Human Rights Commission states that women have the right to breastfeed in public places, Cindy relates an experience she had at a local restaurant she visited with her family this past summer. Her young son was hungry, so Cindy discreetly began breastfeeding him in the restaurant. While nothing was visible, Cindy recalls being angered by a flippant comment from another customer, advising her to “get a room.”

“We left feeling very upset and sad that this person felt that feeding my child was an inappropriate thing to do. I really hope that this never happens to any other nursing mother,” Cindy says. “It‟s very important to educate people and promote healthy attitudes towards breastfeeding mothers, and that‟s where I know the new breastfeeding coalition can make a big difference.”

Garden Hill resident Janette Taylor joined the Northumberland Breastfeeding Coalition to encourage other women to breastfeed their babies, just as she did her own two children. “I was programmed, as most western civilized women, to eventually give my children bottles and to have them on a feeding schedule,” Janette says. “But once I had my own (babies), my instincts told me otherwise… breastfeeding was the way for me to go.”

Janette, who also belongs to a local La Leche group, says there are many breastfeeding support services available in Northumberland County to help expectant and new mothers adapt, and she too hopes that the coalition can spread the word that „breast is best.‟ Says Janette: “Breastfeeding is the first and best choice for health, bonding and nurturing.”

More information about the Northumberland Breastfeeding Coalition, and the upcoming breastfeeding Challenge and Celebration, is available by visiting its Facebook page.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Cheryl Baker, Family Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 1275,

or Janette Taylor, Member, Northumberland Breastfeeding Coalition, (289) 251-0196.

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