KAPUSKASING: The Kapuskasing Breastfeeding Coalition expanded its array of activities for the Kapuskasing community during the week of Oct 1-6 as the group celebrated World Breastfeeding Week.
Celebrations kicked off this year with the 13th annual Breastfeeding Challenge held on Sept. 30 at Early Years Centre before introducing a week of new activities.
“So the Breastfeeding coalition has decided this year to have daily activities in celebration of breastfeeding week, which is traditionally held during the first week of October,” said Coalition Chair Bobbie Jo Duquette.
This year's additions saw the second annual flag raising held at the Kapuskasing Civic Centre, an event that featured the municipality's General Manager of Corporate and Community Services Nathalie Mallette.
“We had sent a letter of request for proclamation so we received the town's approval to have the week recognized as Breastfeeding Week in Kapuskasing,” Duquette said. “So we had the official flag raising on Monday morning, and there was municipality representatives there including Nathalie Mallette. So she was very nice and addressed the coalition and thankedus for being so supportive in bringing the community closer in being baby friendly and normalizing breastfeeding in Kapuskasing."
Also taking place was “Mommy and Me” walk held on Oct. 2, a special breastfeeding edition of Family Feud held at the Early Years Centre on Oct.3, an open house event featuring snacks held at the Community Action Program for Children on Oct. 4, sponsored public swimming at the pool on Oct. 5, and a visit to the radio stations to help get the Coalition's message out there on Oct. 6.
Though overall participation was low, Duquette said that the week was a start.
“This is the first time we host activities throughout the week and its more about awareness and setting that footprint and getting stuff started.”
Also taking place was a contest that allowed for one's name to be entered into a draw for $200 of prizes.
“There's a cool contest going on this week too, so the health unit created four life sized cutouts of various moms breastfeeding their babies, and we have one hidden in the community this week,” said Duquette. “If people find her they're to contact me directly or through our Facebook page private message to let me know where she is, and I drop their name into a draw for $200 worth of prizes.”
She encourages all those interested in learning more about the organization and its events to visit the Coalition's Facebook page at Kapuskasing Celebrates Breastfeeding.
“So a shout out to that if people want to get on that group and see what we're about and what kinds of events we host year round.”