Mothers across Nova Scotia will compete in the 2003 InternationalQuintessence Breastfeeding Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 4, topromote the benefits of breastfeeding during World BreastfeedingWeek. At 11 a.m. the participants will attempt to set theQuintessence World Record for the most infants breastfeeding atone time. “Breastfeeding reduces an infant’s risk of illness and is alsobeneficial for the mother’s health,” said Health PromotionMinister Rodney MacDonald. “This event is a great way to promotethe importance of breastfeeding and to reinforce the healthbenefits.” This year the challenge includes sites from Nunavut to Floridaand from Newfoundland to California. There are over 70 sitesregistered across Canada and seven are in Nova Scotia: Amherst,Antigonish, Halifax, Sydney (two sites), Wolfville, and Yarmouth. The winner of the challenge will be determined by calculating thenumber of participating mothers and infants at each site in ratioto the province’s birth rate. The challenge presents a great opportunity for breastfeedingmothers to meet and share their experiences. Activities have beenorganized for each location to celebrate and show support forbreastfeeding mothers and their children. “We want to see lots of breastfeeding mothers come out,” saidJennifer Joseph, the Breastfeeding Challenge organizer for NovaScotia. “They’re the first-hand account of how importantbreastfeeding is.” Breastfeeding has numerous nutritional, physical, developmental,and emotional health benefits for infants. There are also manybenefits for the mother, such as reduced risk of breast andovarian cancers, easier weight loss to pre-pregnancy levels, andvarious psychological benefits. Although studies show that breastfeeding is in the best interestof both mothers and their babies, many women choose to useformula. The Breastfeeding Challenge is designed to celebrate thebenefits of breastfeeding and to demonstrate the community’ssupport for breastfeeding mothers. For information on the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge, seethe Web site at www.babyfriendly.ca . All breastfeeding mothersand their families are welcome to attend the challenges in theircommunities. For information on the Nova Scotia sites call 902-470-7113. The 2003 International Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge isbeing presented by the Office of Health Promotion in partnershipwith the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia District HealthAuthorities.