Around the world, Breastfeeding week is celebrated through activities and events to promote and protect breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding Week is held in August in many parts of the world and in October in Canada. In Eeyou Itschee, Breastfeeding Week may be celebrated in November, or sometimes in March to correspond with Nutrition Month.
Last November, Waskaganish nutritionists and CHRs had their Breastfeeding week with activities to promote breastfeeding in the community. The activities involved many members of the community of all ages.
One of the activities took place at the daycare. CHRs read a book called “The Wonders of Mother’s Milk” by Mishawn Purnell-O’Neal to the children. This activity was well appreciated.
Another activity was a radio show with a Breastfeeding Trivia Contest and Testimonials. People called in and answered trivia questions about breastfeeding for the chance to win a prize. There were also testimonials by Elders and listeners enjoyed the personal anecdotes.
The third activity held was an art contest. The nutritionist described the art contest as follows:
An art contest was open to all students at Annie Whiskeychan Memorial Elementary School. Announcements were made in every classroom of elementary school during the week to invite the kids to draw a picture or colour a pre-made outline related to the theme of breastfeeding. The CHRs also read a story about breastfeeding in the pre-K and kindergarten classrooms. The children had 1 week to submit their creations to their teacher. Drawings/pictures were posted on the clinic walls during breastfeeding week and all community members were invited to vote for their two of their favourites in each of the three groups (pre-K, grade 1, and grade 3).
I have included photos of some of the winning drawings in the blog. What a great idea to help normalize breastfeeding by planning events for school aged children. Breastfeeding needs to be supported by the whole community and the whole community’s health is influenced by breastfeeding. Waskaganish Breastfeeding Week was a success and thank you to all the participants!