Three of the most important forms of nutrition to growing babies and children, fruits, vegetables and breast milk, are being brought together on Monday during a “Farmers’ Market” at the Scotland County Department of Public Health.
As it has been declared “World Breastfeeding Month,” in Laurinburg, the Scotland County Department of Public Health (and the WIC Program), the Cooperative Extension and Scotland Memorial Hospital have joined forces to produce a farmers’ market, which will include an educational feature aimed at informing the community about the importance of breastfeeding.
“We invite the community to explore fresh local fruits and vegetables, in addition to celebrating and promoting the many benefits of breastfeeding,” said Cardra Burns, WIC director and breastfeeding programs manager for the health department.
“During the event, an informational booth will be available for new and expectant mothers to learn about breastfeeding, as well as to ask questions and receive valid answers,” Burns said.
According to Burns, there are many misconceptions about breastfeeding. Most pervasive among the items of misinformation are “that breastfeeding hurts and that it takes all your time,” Burns said.
“Those just aren’t true. That’s why we have these programs, to spread the truth,” she said.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Month theme is “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers” – a concept designed to highlight the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families.
Unfortunately, notes Burns, most mothers want to breastfeed their children, but often fail to do so when met with “multiple and complex barriers that keep them from achieving their personal” goals.
That’s where community support comes in, she said.
“Learning how to breastfeed takes time and patience for new mothers and infants,” said Tammy Welch, IBCLC, certified lactation consultant at The Women’s Center at Scotland Memorial Hospital.
“It is important to remember that families, friends, health care providers, employers, child care providers, communities and even the media play a crucial role in a mother’s overall success with breastfeeding.”
The farmers’ market, which will take place inside the health department building, will offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables free of cost to those who attend.
But Burns advises that those interested arrive early, as a similar event was very popular in 2012.
The farmers’ market will begin on Monday at 10 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m. at the health department’s 1405 West Blvd. location.
For information about World Breastfeeding Month, call 277-2440 or visit scotlandcounty.org/health.