People talk about breastfeeding

World Breastfeeding Week in Vernon

“Talk to me about breastfeeding.” That’s the theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week event being held at the People Place Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Vernon, along with more than 170 countries and communities, will celebrate breastfeeding awareness and education for the 19th year with the theme “Talk to Me! Breastfeeding – a 3D Experience.”

Breastfeeding Week is a joint effort between the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and local community and health groups in communities around the globe. In Vernon the event is being hosted by Interior Health, Vernon Jubilee Hospital nurses, Vernon La Leche League, local doulas and others who work with breastfeeding families.

This year’s local event will be an opportunity for families to come together in an informal café-style environment to talk about why breastfeeding is important to them and those around them. Light snacks and refreshments, door prizes and lively discussion will be a part of the morning.

As global exclusive breastfeeding rates continue to rise, people may wonder why talk about breastfeeding at all? Isn’t it a normal, physiological process? But public health nurse Donna Jewell said the reality is that most talk is confined within the health care realm and amongst mothers who are already strong advocates of breastfeeding.

“This education, awareness and communication around breastfeeding needs to be broadened, particularly so amongst the young, as young people make up about 18 per cent of the population,” she said.

Stacy Pavlov, Vernon La Leche League Leader, doula and prenatal instructor, said involving young people in the breastfeeding awareness movement is really important if on-going breastfeeding rates are to continue to rise.

“We really need to make young people aware of the long-term advantages of breastfeeding and get excited about its importance to not just their own families, but to the positive global impact it creates,” said Pavlov. “We’re hoping that plenty of young families come to join the celebration.”

WABA youth advocate Phan Bich Ngan understands the importance of involving the younger generation.

“As a young person, I want to contribute to the global breastfeeding movement,” said Ngan. “Not only do I need to learn more about breastfeeding, but I need to make sure I talk to my friends and family and help them when needed.”

Vernon public health nurse Elke Herbus agrees and said making people of all ages aware of breastfeeding and to normalize breastfeeding is invaluable.

“We need to continue to promote, protect, and support women to breastfeed their babies, not only in our community but throughout the globe,” she said.

The Vernon event runs Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at The People Place. Phone 250-260-4120 for more information.