Families enjoy yoga, fun run/walk, and more at local breastfeeding awareness event
September 2, 2016
Thomas R. Throssell
Gila River Indian News
To help educate and inform Gila River Indian Community mothers about the ins-and-outs of breastfeeding and baby nutrition, the Tribal Health Department’s Genesis program held a breastfeeding awareness event at the District 2 Service Center on Aug. 18.
Community mothers, both pregnant and postnatal, participated in a yoga class, fun run/walk, and enjoyed a healthy snack at the event’s yogurt bar.
The festivities were held to commemorate National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week.
Both events are held to promote breastfeeding and improve the health of babies in the United States and around the world.
According to the World health Organization (WHO), breastfeeding is the best way to provide nutrients to a newborn baby and mothers should exclusively breastfeed from birth to six-months of age.
WHO also encourages mothers to continue breastfeeding babies up to 2 years or older and is asking people to “Support [moms] and to breastfeed anytime, anywhere,” in an effort to make communities more breastfeeding-friendly.
Genesis program nutritionist, Nicole Watson, said of the local event, “The whole purpose is…to have an event for our prenatal and breastfeeding moms. The event also encourages moms to be physically active as well as have a healthy snack with us,” she said.
Watson stressed that physical activity is also important for both prenatal and postnatal mothers, and can provide a multitude of benefits.
“Some of the benefits for physical activity during prenatal is that it will help with labor. It will also help keep mom at a steady weight. It just keeps mom flexible [for] when it is time for her to go into labor. She is really going to need that strength,” she said.
While information about breastfeeding and exercise was the main focus of the event, it wasn’t the only attraction. The lure of a free stroller and a delicious fresh-fruit yogurt bar may have been the icing on the cake for many local mothers looking to educate themselves about breastfeeding, which in the end, is what National Breastfeeding Awareness Month is all about.
For more information about breastfeeding, newborn and child nutrition, and to learn ways to stay fit, pre- or postnatal, call the Genesis program at (520) 562-2237.