Several programs around Kodiak offer breastfeeding mothers care and guidance, and one of those – the KANA-affiliated Women, Infants, and Children program – recently received an award for meeting the breastfeeding rates of a government-based public health initiative called Healthy People 2020.
KANA dietician Shanna Moeder says the federal WIC program focuses on nutrition for children from birth to five years of age as well as pregnant or postpartum mothers, but the recognition for Kodiak is bigger than WIC alone.
“I think it’s a testament to what Kodiak Kindness and WIC are doing together, but definitely with Kodiak Kindness getting to that hospital and seeing those families before they leave and go home with their new babies.”
The Kindness Project is affiliated with Providence Health and Services and helps mothers with babies 18 months and under to ease their way through breastfeeding, formula feeding, and the transition to solid foods.
Both WIC and Kodiak Kindness focus on mothers and their children and contribute to the positive results that Heather Preece, who is a pediatric dietitian and coordinates the Kindness Project, says Healthy People 2020 focuses on.
“Because of the well documented benefits of extended breast-feeding duration rates – it’s really how all mammals are meant to be raised, on their mother’s own milk, and it has a myriad of health benefits that last a person’s lifetime, actually – so, the government and public health measures are trying to help families meet longer and longer breastfeeding duration rates.”
Preece says Kodiak not only met those goals, but exceeded them, and she emphasizes that the Kindness Project is a nonprofit service in the community. It’s one she’s invested in.
“The most exciting or satisfying for me personally is just to see the confidence and relief in the mother’s eyes when you go to their home and support them, answer their questions, that you’re there for them in the middle of the night when they have questions and concerns about their babies.”
And to belatedly celebrate August’s world breastfeeding week and to support the Kindness project, KANA and Providence have joined together to host the 3rd annual Milk Run for children and families this Saturday.
You can choose your mode of transportation, whether walking or pushing a stroller, and even your distance between the starting and finishing point of Near Island’s North End trail the destination of the float plane dock. The entry fee is 10 dollars a person or 20 dollars a family and all funds go to Kodiak Kindness.
And if you still aren’t tempted, participants can indulge in milk and cookies when they finish the run. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the event begins at 10.