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'Born to Breastfeed' Event Offers Education and Entertainment at Roger Williams Park Zoo

PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition (RIBC), in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH), will hold a family-friendly event, "Born to Breastfeed," at the Roger Williams Park Zoo on Wednesday, Aug. 7, from 5-9 p.m. The event is being held in conjunction with WHO/UNICEF World Breastfeeding Week.

During the event, families can view zoo exhibits and participate in fun family activities while learning about breastfeeding from educational tables and lactation consultants, who will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

"Breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby," said Michael Fine, M.D., director of HEALTH. "It protects babies from infections at the earliest stages of their lives, and can decrease their risk of developing obesity in adolescence and adulthood. Plus, it helps their moms lose weight faster — all at a lower cost than formula feeding. We invite all Rhode Islanders to come out to the zoo to learn more about breastfeeding and get their questions answered. Breast is best!"

The event will take place rain or shine. Most zoo exhibits will remain open throughout the evening, with storytelling, face painting, and music taking place throughout the zoo.

Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages three to 10 years old. Children younger than three may attend for free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at the Women & Infants Nursing Moms shop. For more information or to order tickets, contact event@ribreastfeeding.org.

In addition to this event, more local support for pregnant women and nursing mothers is available, including:

•Women enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program can obtain breastfeeding information and one-on-one assistance from lactation consultants and peer counselors. Contact your local WIC agency or visit www.health.ri.gov/find/wicagencies to learn more. •Any pregnant woman or new mom in the state can get breastfeeding support through the First Connections home visiting program. Contact your local First Connections agency to learn more or visit www.health.ri.gov/find/firstconnectionsproviders for a list. •Most Rhode Island birthing hospitals have "warm line" phone services that mothers can call after they leave the hospital with questions or concerns about breastfeeding. See www.health.ri.gov/breastfeeding/for/pregnantwomenandnursingmothers for numbers.

The RIBC is a non-profit coalition of community organizations dedicated to promoting and supporting breastfeeding in Rhode Island, thereby improving the health and well-being of women and children.

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Related links

Department or agency: Department of Health

Online: http://www.health.ri.gov

Release date: 08-01-2013

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