Wednesday Oct. 1 kicks off World Breastfeeding Week, and a member of Williams Lake’s prenatal committee is encouraging mothers to surround themselves with support for breastfeeding success.
“Just like anything, breastfeeding can have its challenges but it’s so much easier when you have support,” said committee member Karen Irvine, childbirth educator and breastfeeding counsellor.
The committee’s role is to identify issues and needs in the community and to make Williams Lake a healthy community to have babies in.
Irvine said there are many ways to support a breastfeeding mother for success.
Friends can make meals for new moms, help with house cleaning if she wants and offer to sit with older siblings.
Irvine said it’s also important for friends to support a mother’s choice to breastfeed and for mothers to educate themselves on breastfeeding even before the baby is born.
“We know breastfeeding education before the baby is born, translates into breastfeeding success later.”
Irvine said breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural journey mothers can take with their baby, allowing them a special time to connect and bond, and encourages all mothers and their families to embrace the experience.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding, with the introduction of solid food, after that.
In Williams Lake, women can look for support from the Pregnancy Outreach Program, public health or the maternity ward at the hospital or their family physician.