Friday, October 12

Moms Challenge Breastfeeding Intolerance

Everyone knows that when it comes to feeding baby, breast is best. But even in these enlightened times, there are some who find the sight of mom breastfeeding in public offensive.

This is one of the reasons why the Quintessence Foundation holds an annual "breastfeeding challenge." In the seventh challenge, held in a variety of locations across North America recently, breastfeeding mothers gathered to see just how many babies they could breastfeed in public at once.

From Newfoundland to B.C and Alabama to Alaska, moms and babies came out in force to 258 sites in 34 regions. Montreal, with 445 participating babies, had the largest number at a Canadian site.

The challenge is designed in part to help people become accustomed to the sight of women breastfeeding and soften societal attitudes toward those who choose to feed "anytime, anywhere."

"In doing the challenge we're not trying to make people do anything, we're just trying to educate the general public, give mothers the feeling that they are supported, that we do appreciate what they're doing and that this is important," says Frances Jones of the non-profit Quintessence Foundation, based in Vancouver.

According to Stats Can, less than 20 percent of Canadian women feed their babies exclusively human milk for as long as the recommended six months. This is due in large part to lack of support, experts say.

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