Pregnancy Outreach staff Janelle Kiefiuk (left)

Pregnancy Outreach staff Janelle Kiefiuk (left)

Support available for breastfeeding moms

What would happen if we were forced to leave our homes in an instant?

Karen Irvine

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

What would happen if we were forced to leave our homes in an instant? If there was a forest fire in our backyard, or water flooding into our home, we might not have time to get everything we thought we needed.

These unexpected disasters used to be a rarity, but we all know that they are a possibility for anyone. Hopefully it will not happen to you, but if it did, how would it affect your family?

One of the major issues in emergency situations is ensuring people have water, food, and power. Food security is being talked about a lot these days. When you think about having enough water and food for your family, do you think about what your infant might eat? A breastfed baby has food, anytime, anywhere — no water or electricity necessary.

If you are stuck on a highway behind a car accident, there’s milk. If you get a flat tire on what was supposed to be a quick trip to pick up your other child, there’s milk. If the general store in your remote community runs out of baby formula, no need to worry about switching to a different brand or having to trek into town, you have the perfect food at the perfect temperature.

Even if a woman is not eating much, her body will still make milk for her baby. And as the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding up to two years and beyond, breastfeeding is proven to be great nutrition, comfort, immunity and food security for your child for as long as you are able to do it.

The good news is that women in B.C. believe in breastfeeding: 96  percent of new moms start breastfeeding, and 41 percent still feed their babies only breast milk by six months after birth.

But what happens between the hospital experience and six months later? According to Statistics Canada 2012, the major reason Canadian women say they stopped breastfeeding is that they don’t have enough milk. The second most common reason is difficulty with breast feeding technique.

It makes sense that a good percentage of women would continue breast feeding their baby if they had the support when they needed it; had enough milk and had a comfortable, effective technique.

How can we make those things happen? There are many friendly, supportive women in Williams Lake ready to help.

And just like the old adage “If there is a pebble in your shoe, take it out,” the trick to breastfeeding success is to get help early. Support people are available. At Interior Health Public Health Nurse at 250-302-5000, open Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; the nurse hotline at 811, 24 hours a day; Pregnancy Outreach at 250-392-3583, from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday except Thursdays until 2 p.m.; BabyMoon Childbirth Services at babymoon.cbs@outlook.com; Veronika McIntyre at the La Leche League at 250-296-2469 or v.mcintyre@live.ca and Jordan Davis, Breastfeeding Educator, Boys and Girls and POP.

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