The Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre teamed up on Saturday to host a virtual event to mark World Breastfeeding Week.
"We promote breastfeeding because we really want to normalize it and encourage new moms," said Kimberly Shebib, a public health nurse and lactation consultant, who helped organize the event.
World Breastfeeding Week is a global campaign that runs from Oct. 1-7.
Shebib said there is still a stigma around breastfeeding in public, but it is improving.
"Some people feel very comfortable to breastfeed in public, but there's a little bit to be done and so these events help with that," she said.
Danielle Hillman, a registered nurse in the women and children health program at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, said people across Nova Scotia have the right to breastfeed their child anywhere and anytime.
To combat the stigma, mothers and babies across Nova Scotia were invited to participate in the Quintessence Challenge on Saturday to try to set a record for the most babies breastfeeding at the same time.
The provincial event was hosted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Hillman said only a "handful" of mothers participated.
"It's a little bit disappointing ... but [doing it virtually] really takes away from that coming together and that socialization that normally happens," she said.
"So moms would be allowed to come to the event this week with their baby and the other moms and connect in person, one-on-one or in that group environment, so we really miss that this year."
Shebib said despite the turnout, her hope is that breastfeeding will be normalized in Nova Scotia.
"The more normal it becomes, the more moms feel supported in doing it."
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