When little Olivia Buwalda-Carter needed to nurse while in a local Chilliwack store recently, her mother Gwendy obliged.
Mom took a seat in the clothing section of a thrift store to breastfeed her infant when she was asked to cover up by a volunteer at the store.
"'There are men in the store that would be offended,'" Gwendy said she was told.
"I felt very harassed, and very uncomfortable with the lady doing that, never have I been subjected to harassment while nursing my children in public but this topped it off, especially coming from a woman."
The incident serves as a good reminder that both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the B.C. Human Rights Code protects a woman's right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.
Despite this, there are businesses and individuals that still need to be educated both about the importance of breastfeeding for health as well as the legal and natural right women have to nurture their children.
Another reminder about all these points comes this weekend in the form of the annual Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge, locally hosted by La Leche League Chilliwack.
At Chilliwack Heritage Park at 11 a.m. on Oct. 1, mothers and children will join others across Canada and the U.S. to compete to set the record for most children breastfeeding at one time.
"We are looking forward to another amazing turnout this year and striving to place in the top three," said Michelle Dennill, La Leche League leader and organizer of this year's event. "We are grateful for the many local businesses and organizations that show their support for breastfeeding in our community and help to make this event so much fun for local moms."
Last year 4,373 children at sites in 18 countries took part. In Chilliwack, there were 102 moms and babies, ranking the city fifth in the world.
? For more information contact Michelle Dennill at 604-824-1732 or visit www.babyfriendly.ca. Mothers are encouraged to register to receive a commemorative certificate and gift bag. To register please contact email@example.com.