Jennifer Cochrane feeds her five-month-old daughter Gwendolyn outside the Smithers Public Library last Saturday as part of the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge.

Ready, set, latch!

Mothers around the world breastfeed in annual challenge

Mothers in Smithers breastfed their children to promote the benefits and to help normalize breastfeeding outside the library last Saturday.

The Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge was started in B.C. in 2011 by the Quintessence Foundation and is now a global challenge with thousands of people participating in this year’s latch. It also draws attention to World Breastfeeding Week that ran from Oct. 1-7.

Smithers participated in the challenge roughly two years ago when about a dozen mothers gathered at Heavenly Grinds.

Taryn Opel, public health nurse with Smithers Public Health, said they want to promote the benefits of breastfeeding.

“It’s to increase awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and also that this is something we want people to be aware of and accepting of because it’s a natural thing that is very important for our communities because we want to raise healthy babies,”  said Opel.

This year, 10 mothers and babies showed up to latch on outside the Smithers Public Library.

“I think it’s just a good initiative to support,” said Amy Stokes, who participated in the challenge. “I had a pretty easy time breastfeeding all my kids . . .  but I definitely see that there are a lot of challenges and it kind of highlights how easy I had it.”

Brie Mcaloney was there breastfeeding her nine-month-old daughter Eliana and hopes the event will help normalize breastfeeding in public.

“When people don’t do things in public, they sort of become taboo and when you bring them out into the open, they become more normal,” said Mcaloney.

“The only time I remember being shy was when I was at the airport,” she said. “[Eliana] was screaming and there was no way I could go anywhere even if I wanted to. I realized that more people were looking at me because my baby was screaming. I’m pretty sure most of those people were like ‘can you please feed your baby’?”

According to Anne Jarry, support worker with Smithers Pregnancy Outreach, there has been media attention over the years about whether or not mothers should cover up in public while they’re breastfeeding.

“Our position is that we encourage mothers to do what they feel like — if you want to cover, you cover, if you don’t cover that’s okay,” said Jarry.

Some of the benefits of breastfeeding include good immunity and support for the baby, it helps mothers return to pre-birth weight, added Brenda Melenchenko, a lactation consultant in Smithers.

 

Just Posted

Northern First Nations partnership reshaping government’s approach to reconciliation

Kaska, Tahltan and Tlingit First Nations share Premier’s Award for Innovation with ministry

Champion BVCS bumps competition

Bulkley Valley Christian School jumping for joy after winning the boy’s Grade 7-8 volleyball zones.

Tahltan First Nation to finally return home after wildfire

Roughly $12 million has been spent making the community livable again after the 1,180-square-kilometre blaze destroyed 21 homes

Postal strike strikes Smithers

Rural route carriers want better treatment.

Smithers Hwy 16 lane closure Nov. 19-22

Planned utility work is expected to start on Hwy 16 in Smithers Monday morning.

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Most Read