Chilliwack looks to defend title in breastfeeding challenge

The 16th annual Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge takes place Oct. 1

This year's Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge takes place Saturday

Chilliwack placed first in the world in 2014 and second in 2015, and now organizers of the Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge are aiming to be number one again this year.

The 16th annual Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge is a friendly competition between cities around the world to see which city will have the largest number of babies breastfeeding simultaneously in one location.

“The Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge is a lively place — anywhere with over 120 little ones is,” says event organizer Avril Field.

It all takes place on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, and it’s in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week in Canada which runs Oct. 1-7.

Last year, Chilliwack had 133 babies breastfeeding simultaneously, putting us tied for first place in North America and second in the world. In 2014, we had 213 babies participate, putting us in first place out of 215 sites worldwide.

“I feel a strong sense of community at the challenge. Nursing mothers come together and spend the morning meeting other women who face similar challenges, and to play with their little ones. It’s a great place to come together,” says Field.

The annual challenge strives to increase public awareness of the normality of breastfeeding, the benefits to mother, child and community, and the ways in which women need support to achieve the recommended duration for breastfeeding.

“Breast milk provides a unique nutrition as well as antibodies for the nursing little one. Many mothers enjoy the bonding time that breastfeeding allows them,” says Field.

But breastfeeding still presents a major challenge for many women. Two of the biggest hurdles continue to be lack of support for mothers and marginalization by the community. Even today, women are often discouraged from breastfeeding, especially in public.

In B.C., mothers have the legal right to breastfeed in any public area. Asking a mother who is breastfeeding her child to move or cover up is illegal.

“I would strongly encourage anyone who is shy about breastfeeding in public to attend the challenge,” says Field. “It’s a great place to start as everyone else there is breastfeeding too. You won’t feel out of place.”

Of course, women are welcome to bring a cover-up if it makes them feel more comfortable.

For the public, the event promotes breastfeeding as a positive, natural process for both mothers and children that is appropriate whenever and wherever little ones are hungry.

The Breastfeeding Challenge is one strategy to help spread the word globally that breastfeeding is normal and an important strategy for child and maternal health.

In B.C., the Breastfeeding Challenge began in 2001 with 856 children at 26 sites.

The 16th annual Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge takes place Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre (46361 Yale Rd.). Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and latch-on is at 11 a.m.

Registration is required to take part. Those interested can register online at www.bit.ly/chwkbfchallenge. Registration is free, and the first 200 people to register will receive gift bags. There will also be door prizes and guest speakers.

For more info, search for ‘Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge’ on Facebook, or email chwk.bf.challenge@gmail.com.

jenna.hauck@theprogress.comtwitter.com/PhotoJennalism

Just Posted

PHOTO: Add flavour to your weekend with the Chilliwack Garlic Festival

The annual garlicky event runs Saturday and Sunday at Fantasy Farms

Fleeing helicopter that landed in Chilliwack part of major cross-border drug bust: documents

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vedder Rotary trail network in Chilliwack will be closed for five days on the south side

The upgrade will take until Friday so trail users asked to take alternate routes

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

Ethel ‘Grace’ Baranyk had severe dementia

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Wink, Blink and Nod at the Chilliwack SPCA

These three male tabby cats are some of many kittens up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read