It's World Breastfeeding Week
. And two local La Leche League groups are planning events this weekend to mark the celebration, which aims to raise awareness of breastfeeding around the world.
The Cary A.M. group
will hold a potluck and silent auction at 9 a.m. Saturday at Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Dr., in New Hill. The public is welcome to bring a dish to pass and chat with other families. The Cary A.M. group meets on the second Wednesday of the month in the morning (thus the A.M.) at Woodhaven Baptist Church in Apex.
And the new Wake Forest Saturday group
is hosting a family fun night from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at PlayNation, 300 Dominion Dr., in Morrisville. I featured PlayNation
a couple of weeks ago. It's the indoor playground with both inflatables and play sets.
The event includes free play, along with activities for the kids and a finger-food bufffet. Bring a "finger food" dish to pass if you can. The silent auction includes a variety of great items, including a birthday party package from PlayNation; an ERGO carrier from Raleigh-based Smart Momma Baby Gear & Gifts
; day passes to the Museum of Life and Science and Marbles Kids Museum; tickets to Carolina Mudcats and the Durham Bulls; and gift certificates to lots of local restaurant. And a lot more.
The Wake Forest Saturday group meets on the third Saturday of the month at Wake Forest Christian Church.
World Breastfeeding Week marks the anniversary of the signing of the Innocenti Declaration in 1990, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding and breastfeeding goals. The week is celebrated in 120 countries on various dates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, about 9 percent of mothers in North Carolina exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life as the American Academy of Pediatrics and many other health experts recommend.
Nursing moms have gotten some help recently. The new health care reform act now requires employers to provide time for women to express milk. And it also requires health plans to offer some preventative services without a copay, including counseling and support for moms who want to breastfeed and for nursing mothers, according to a statement by the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin
Benjamin announced last week that she plans to release a "call to action" this fall to explain how "all sectors of the community can create an environment that is supportive of mothers who choose to breastfeed."
"It will show how a community-wide approach can help reduce disparities among breastfeeding mothers and children of all backgrounds, and how to improve support for nursing women in their workplaces and communities," she said.