Calling all breastfeeding moms: Iqaluit challenge set for Oct. 5
Breastfed babies healthier, less likely to get overweight later
Iqaluit public health is hosting a challenge for the community’s breastfeeding mothers Oct. 5.
The challenge: to encourage as many children to be breastfed at once.
The event is part of World Breastfeeding Week in Canada, which runs Oct. 1 to Oct. 7.
The message that Iqaluit public health wants to spread to Nunavut parents: breastfeeding supports healthy growth and development in children.
About six in 10 Nunavut women breastfeed their babies over some period of time, according to the Inuit Children Health Survey for Nunavut.
But the survey also shows that only one in three babies were exclusively breastfed for six months, the period recommended by the World Health Organization.
The WHO says continued breastfeeding up to two years or beyond helps protect children from common causes of illness and death, including complications from prematurity, newborn infections, pneumonia and diarrhea.
Studies also show that people who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight later in life; they may have a reduced risk of diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests.
This year’s breastfeeding challenge will take place at 11:00 am Oct. 5 at the public health centre, now located at building 1091 near the airport.
Doors open at 10:30, and all participants will receive a certificate.
Breastfeeding mothers in Rankin Inlet can also take part in a local challenge the same day starting at 10:00 am at the community’s arena.