Submitted by Michelle Prouty-On October 4 at 11am, women across the US and Canada will be breastfeeding their babies! What is happening? It’s all part of the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge 2003!
This is an opportunity for everyone to take part in a celebration of breastfeeding. The goal is to raise community awareness of breastfeeding by all celebrating together. In the past, mothers have said they had a “fun” time and the health promotion has been invaluable.
Over the last two years, the sites have included homes, health units, shopping malls, hospital rooms, community centers, coffee shops,… even the Dari Dip in Manitoba where the manager provided free ice cream sundaes to all participants! Last year, Vancouver had a raffle for two hand-made quilts and gave the money raised to the donor milk bank. Some are small events of two or three women while others have hundreds. Every participant receives a certificate to remember the event.
Challenge 2003 will involve registered sites from the US and Canada on October 4 . The “winner” is the state or province with the most women breastfeeding at 11 am (local time) as a percentage of that region’s birth rate. When sites in BC challenged the Guinness record in 2001, it was clear that large centers could take part, but smaller towns were left out. Challenge 2002 went cross-Canada with 47 sites and close to 1000 women.
This event is perfect for large and small communities as every mother counts. It doesn’t cost anything to participate. All you need to do is register and invite mothers to participate.
This year, we have expanded to include sites across Canada and the US. In Canada, the challenge takes place during our celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. It’s a wonderful way to highlight each event. What a message we would have if there were challenge sites in every state, province and territory!
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