Healthy Living in the North

Healthy Living in the north starts with our children

Mother and baby

There are a lot of great benefits, for both mother and baby, when it comes to breastfeeding. What’s your positive experience with breastfeeding? (Photo by

As parents, we always want to do the best for our children, and if it’s an option, why not breastfeed?! I found breastfeeding created a special bond with each of my babies; all three loved to breastfeed around the clock. Although this was tiring, I look back at it now and realize that I got to spend quality time with each of my boys at a young age, knowing that I was promoting health and well-being, and in the end, creating the foundations of a healthy lifestyle to live by for each of them.

Why is breastfeeding important? Breastfeeding is just as important as handwashing, healthy eating and is great for the environment; breastfeeding – no garbage, no pollution and an attractive recyclable container! The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global effort for improving the role of maternity services to enable mothers to breastfeed babies for the best start in life. It aims at improving the care of pregnant women, mothers and newborns at health facilities that provide maternity services for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk substitutes. The Breastfeeding Initiative is a great support to moms for breastfeeding within the north. In 2013 the theme for World Breastfeeding Week is Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, with the goal of highlighting the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families.

World Breastfeeding Week will run from October 1-7, 2013, to recognize the importance of breastfeeding, promote the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, as well as social and environmental benefits.

To kick off the festivities in Prince George, breastfeeding families are invited to celebrate the 13th Annual Prince George Breastfeeding Challenge on Saturday, October 5/2013.  The event is held annually around the world in hopes of setting a new international record for the most breastfeeding babies at one time. It also provides the opportunity to recognize the special bond of breastfeeding between mother and baby. The event will be held in the Keith Gordon Room at the Bob Harkins branch of the Prince George Public Library. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with official latch-on time starting promptly at 11 a.m. The entire family is encouraged to attend this free, fun-filled event. The Quintessence Foundation, a non-profit group providing education to parents and professionals about breastfeeding and human milk banking, sponsors the Breastfeeding Challenge.

“Despite most mothers wanting to breastfeed, many are met with complex barriers that keep them from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. Support and encouragement from all angles can make success possible for mothers who wish to breastfeed.” (WABA, 2013).

Laura Ravlic

About Laura Ravlic

Laura is a public health nurse who works for the children and families Team in Prince George, BC. She has three energetic boys who keep her busy out in the community with their many activities, including bike riding, class outings and soccer, for which she is an assistant coach. She is also involved in the Baby Friendly Initiative which promotes a breastfeeding friendly environment.