Kassina Ryder and Gabriel Zarate
Northern News Services
Published Monday, October 19, 2009
NUNAVUT - On Oct. 3, mothers gathered at locations across the territory to feed their babies in the annual Breastfeeding Challenge.
Sula Enuaraq, Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program's co-ordinator for Iqaluit, nurses her daughter Aaliyah Degrasse. Behind, Nunavut's territorial CPNP co-ordinator Vesselina Petkova enjoys one of the healthy snacks available at the event. - Gabriel Zarate/NNSL photo
Across Nunavut, 21 of the 25 communities registered to take part in the event. In Iqaluit, eight mothers gathered at the Public Health building.
"This is my first time taking part, but I've been breastfeeding forever," laughed Maani Brown.
Maani is presently breastfeeding her sixth child, most of whom were weaned only when their younger sibling arrived.
The Iqaluit co-ordinator of the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program was also a participant. Sula Enuaraq nursed her daughter Aaliyah Degrasse.
"I did this last year, but there wasn't as many last year. But this year it turned out pretty good," she said.
Enuaraq listed some of the health benefits of breastfeeding, both for babies and their mothers. Children who are breastfed get fewer infections than those on formula, and mothers who breastfeed are less likely to get breast cancer in later life.
She also pointed out that breastfeeding saves mothers a lot of money in Nunavut, where formula must be shipped up from the south.