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Walk to raise awareness of breastfeeding

by jmaloni
Fri, Jul 18th 2014 07:00 am

Catholic Charities will hold a free Breastfeeding Walk and Healthy Baby Festival from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 31 at the Hyde Park splash pad, on the corner of Pine and Hyde Park avenues, in Niagara Falls. 

Catholic Charities Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, which serves all of Erie and Niagara counties, is hosting the event to raise awareness of the benefits and significance of breastfeeding. The walk, in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week taking place Aug. 1-7 in more than 170 countries worldwide, is also designed to create community support to friends, family and others who are or may be considering breastfeeding, or who have breastfed.

This year's event includes a family fun walk beginning at 11:15 a.m., educational displays and resource fair, entertainment, prizes and giveaways. Families are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch. No registration is required, and questions can be directed to 716-332-3304, ext. 207. 

The theme for 2014 World Breastfeeding Week is "A Winning Goal - for Life!", which stresses the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding. Breast milk is beneficial to infants as it has ingredients that ensure a healthy immune system and digestive tract, and proper brain and eye development.

"Attendees of our walk and festival will have the opportunity to learn about ways to stay healthy through pregnancy, how to decrease the chance of preterm birth, and the importance of breastfeeding for the long-term health of both the baby and mother," said Katie Constantino, Catholic Charities WIC breastfeeding coordinator. "This also serves as a fun outdoor activity that offers the chance for families to meet one another and have an enjoyable morning out."

The Buffalo Zoo-Mobile, together with Sesame Street's Elmo, will entertain participants.

Vendors are invited to the event free of charge in order to provide information to participants. Call 716-874-9530 by Wednesday, July 24, to reserve a table.

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