When: Saturday, October 5 10 am – noon
Where: Central Market North (4001 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756)
Why: To celebrate and promote breastfeeding as a public health issue
Contact: Gail Gresham, HMBH President – (512) 799-6155
Kim Updegrove, MMBA Director - (512) 494.0800
Central Texas Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin are co-hosting the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge as part of a free family festival this Saturday, October 5 from 10 am to noon at Central Market on North Lamar. Support of the community and of a mothers’ family is vital to improving breastfeeding rates, making a family festival a perfect way to celebrate breastfeeding! The breastfeeding challenge will start promptly at 11am, with registration and activities beginning at 10am. The event features popular children’s singer-songwriter Staci Gray, as well as the band Rockaroni & Cheese (a dad and his son, an eight-year-old drummer). There will be face painting, family-focused vendors, a stuffed animal petting zoo, fire truck, door prizes, breastfeeding trivia tournament, and more! Details at www.tinyurl.com/CenTXQ13.
Why this challenge: Breastfeeding has many well-documented benefits including better health for both mothers and babies. According to UNICEF, of the 136.7 million babies born worldwide, only 32.6% of them breastfeed exclusively in the first six months. In the U.S., that number is just 16.4%. The recommendation of the World Health Organization is for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond, together with adequate, appropriate and indigenous complementary feeding starting from the age of six months. Many women fail to meet their own breastfeeding goals and wean their children prematurely, well before meeting recommended guidelines. Two of the biggest hurdles for mothers continue to be lack of support and marginalization by the community. In North America many women find breastfeeding in public to be a major barrier.
About Quintessence: Annually, mothers and children at sites across Canada, the United States and other countries around the world compete to set the record for the most children breastfeeding at one time. The winners of the competition will be the site with the most children breastfeeding in a geographical area. The Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge began in 2001 in British Columbia Canada with 856 children at 26 sites. By 2012, there were 3,934 children in nine countries at over 211 sites with a total of over 20,000 supporters!
The Quintessence Foundation, a non-profit group providing education to parents and professionals about breastfeeding and human milk banking, sponsors the Breastfeeding Challenge. For more information contact Quintessence Foundation at 604-228-9331 or visit the website: www.babyfriendly.ca
To learn more about the local non-profits hosting this year’s Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge and Family Fun Fest, visit Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition at www.keepaustinbreastfeeding.com or Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin at www.milkbank.org.