L to R: Janice Sampson, Gloria Nahanee, Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Councillor Linda Buchanan, Carla and Phil Colvin, Johanne Roy at the North Shore Breastfeeding Challenge Sept. 30 at the HOpe Centre.

North Shore Breastfeeding Challenge focused on support for women to feel comfortable breastfeeding anywhere

The North Shore Breastfeeding Challenge took place on Saturday, September 30th in the Atrium at the HOpe Centre. This was the 16th year that this event has taken place on the North Shore. The challenge is the “kick off” event for World Breastfeeding week, which was October 1-7th. The event is hosted by the North Shore Baby Friendly committee, which is comprised of representation from VCH public health, lactation consultant, dietitian, LGH maternity unit, as well as Midwifery, La Leche League and Family Services of the North Shore.

This year there were 16 breastfeeding women with their babies and support people in attendance. On the third floor at LGH there were 17 breastfeeding women participating (on 3W, 3E, in the NICU and LDR). Also, on Bowen Island, eight breastfeeding women participated with their babies. The theme this year was “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together” and a goal of the event is to show support for women to feel comfortable to breastfeed anywhere and anytime. Another goal was to recognize the challenges women face when trying to breastfeed and to highlight where they can find support when challenges arise.

The event began with opening remarks from Janice Sampson, VCH Lactation Consultant. Then Gloria Nahanee, a Squamish Nation elder, provided a traditional blessing to the families attending. Dr. Mark Lysyshyn spoke to the theme and highlighted the advantages of breastfeeding and importance of supporting breastfeeding women. Councillor Linda Buchanan as Acting Mayor read the City of North Vancouver Breastfeeding Week Proclamation – the first time this proclamation has been written. Blenz Coffee provided refreshments which were funded by the LGH Foundation. Several items were donated for door prizes including:  a Spa Utopia gift certificate from Ratcliff and Associates; three baby quilts from the Seymour Quilters Guild; Breastfeeding apparel from Au Fait Mama and Momzelle; onesies from the Midwifery Association of BC; books from Family Services of the NS and pens from Quintessence Foundation.

City of North Vancouver Breastfeeding Week Proclamation

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