Moms who attend Pregnancy Outreach in Williams Lake are among many in Canada celebrating World Breastfeeding Week this week.

Moms who attend Pregnancy Outreach in Williams Lake are among many in Canada celebrating World Breastfeeding Week this week.

Breastfeeding Week celebrated

Canada is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week Oct. 1-7.

Canada is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week Oct. 1-7.

It is an international event designed to promote, support and encourage breastfeeding at the local, national and global levels to improve the health of mothers and babies around the world.

The 2011 theme for World Breastfeeding Week, “Talk to Me! Breastfeeding — a 3-D experience” focuses on cross-generational, cross-sector, cross-gender and cross-culture communication to encourage knowledge and experience sharing, an essential part of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

The Ministry of Health celebrates the World Breastfeeding Week by launching the “Talk to me about breastfeeding” video, which portrays B.C. families sharing their breastfeeding stories. Promoting breastfeeding in a positive way encourages families to consider breastfeeding and helps to create an environment where everyone, including fathers, friends, families, employers and health-care providers promote and support breastfeeding. View the video at: http://www.youtube.com/user/healthyfamiliesbc.

“Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is a key strategy to improving the health of B.C. families,” says Health Minister Mike de Jong. “The importance of breastfeeding cannot be underestimated and has even been shown to help protect against

childhood obesity.”

Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, parliamentary secretary for seniors to the minister of health and MLA Vancouver-Fairview, adds: “We are proud to celebrate mothers and infants with World Breastfeeding Week. WBW reflects our commitment to promoting the importance of breastfeeding. Encouraging breastfeeding is one of the most important steps health-care providers can take to ensure families are nurtured and grow up happy and healthy.”

The B.C. government says breastfeeding is vital for healthy infant growth and development, and also has a positive impact on the health of the mother.

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures for reducing the risk of childhood health issues such as childhood obesity, middle ear infections, non-specific gastroenteritis (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain), severe lower respiratory tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome.

It also contributes to maternal health by helping mothers’ recovery following childbirth and lowering the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer,

Type 2 diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease throughout her life.

For more information about World Breastfeeding Week, visit www.bcbabyfriendly.ca/WBW.html.