Breastfeeding: Going for the Gold
From New Beginnings, Vol. 25 No. 5, 2008, p. 39
World Breastfeeding Week is officially recognized every year on August 1 through 7. In honor of this event, La Leche League Leaders and members around the world plan celebratory events throughout the year, which include picnics, fairs, and museum days, to name a few. The funds raised at these events help support La Leche League at local and international levels.
LLL Groups around the world celebrated and vied not only for prizes from the US World Breastfeeding Week Celebrations (WBWC) sponsors, but also for specially designed World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) marathon event medals in gold, silver, and bronzed colors. The categories were marathon celebrations (five events during the week) and Global Breastfeeding Wave Events (mass breastfeeding).
La Leche League of Tallahassee, Florida, USA was one of the WABA gold medal winners. They participated in five events that were organized by my co-Leaders, Charli Wagener, Terry Knowlton, Jenny Maddox, and me.
Celebration number one was held on August 2, 2008 at Capital Regional Medical Center. We attracted hospital employees, new and expecting moms, local breastfeeding supporters, and the general public. Our display and banner included items such as fliers about our meetings, business cards, breastfeeding information handouts, the governor's action statement, and LLL magnets. We also displayed sale items such as baby carriers and books.
The local news came to do a story about the celebration. The segment detailed the many benefits of breastfeeding.
On August 3, we held celebration number two at Tallahassee Memorial. In addition to the display table, we also held a babywearing fashion show. We were able to demonstrate many different slings and carriers thanks to the help of Leaders and their husbands, LLL members, and other local moms.
The goal of this event was to have 200 breastfeeding dyads attend and be in a picture. There were approximately 50. The local news did a story about the celebration. The head of the Capitol Area Breastfeeding Coalition and WIC IBCLC, Susan Taylor, was also interviewed. She talked about Tallahassee going for the gold and how Breast-feeding is a public health priority.
Celebration number three on August 6 was held at Leon County WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Office, in Tallahassee. We had games to play and a drawing for prizes. Once again, we had press coverage for the event.
Celebration number four on August 8 was a scrapbooking party to raise funds for LLL.
August 13, we held our fifth and last World Breastfeeding Week Celebration at the Gadsden County WIC Office in Quincy. Attendees learned about LLL history and philosophy, and local meeting times. The majority of the mothers attending were Spanish-speaking, so the LLL presentation was translated into Spanish by a WIC employee. Most of the moms also practiced extended breastfeeding and child-led weaning.