It's National Breast Feeding Week in Canada and our very own High River Hospital is getting involved.
Between Tuesday, October 1 and Monday, October 7, the High River Hospital Multidisciplinary Breastfeeding Committee is going to be helping local families understand skin to skin contact and the benefits of breast feeding.
While many women find it challenging, painful or even medically impossible to breast feed, this week is all about empowering parents to make their best educated decision on all feeding options available to them.
Lactation Consultant and Chair of the High River Hospital Breast Feeding Committee, Marie Corns, says it's important to talk about breast feeding, feeding education and the struggles many parents have.
"You know, not everyone chooses to breast feed, and for some people there are struggles that happen. We appreciate that there is a lot of diversity in infant feeding and we just want people to feel confident no matter what way they're choosing to feed their children."
"Basically we want to empower people with the best start. Most of our hospital policies are set up to help parents breast feed and to provide safe information for those who choose not to. That includes right after birth, we like parents to have about one hour of uninterrupted skin to skin contact."
"It helps to promote exclusive breast feeding, it keeps your baby warm, it calms and soothes your baby, also protecting them from infection, it stabilizes their heart rate, breathing and blood sugars and even reduces pain from those painful procedures that may occur in hospital."
For families choosing to breast feed, their is hands-on support, lactation specialists and breast feeding experts on hand.
"We teach moms how to respond to their babies, what their babies feeding cues may look like and that kind of thing. We generally don't encourage use of soothers or pacifiers and we make sure that all of our families are well set up with follow up care out in the community."
Cobb's Adventure park will be bringing their kangaroos and sugar gliders out for interaction with families.
There will also be a educational component teaching parents about skin to skin contact, and those willing to take part can also compete in a breast feeding challenge.
In the afternoon at 1:00 p.m., there will be a screening of the documentary MILK, which showcases the struggles and misconceptions about infant feeding globally.
All events are free to attend and are open to anyone who would like to know more about breast feeding and skin to skin contact.
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