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What does the Napa Farmers Market have in common with World Breastfeeding Week? If we look at the objectives of the market and the theme of World Breastfeeding Week, we can see similarities. Two of the market’s three objectives are: preserving the environment and providing a place for nonprofit organizations to promote their causes.

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is “Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development.” Sustainable development simply means to live in a way that does not harm the generations to come.

According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, breastfeeding promotes sustainable development. It is a natural, renewable food that is environmentally safe and produced and delivered to the consumer without pollution, packaging or waste, whereas formula production generates greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, breastmilk requires no electricity to produce and no fuel to transport.

Breastfeeding, the healthiest choice for infant feeding, provides benefits for both baby and mother. It lowers the baby’s risk of illness, such as ear infections, diarrhea and lower respiratory infections.

For the mother, it reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The health benefits can extend to the family’s future generations as well, thus contributing to the well-being of the community.

For nursing mothers, the Napa Farmers Market is one-stop shopping, supplying all the fruits, vegetables and dairy products that their diet requires. Breastfeeding moms and moms-to-be need lots of Vitamin A (think sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, yellow squash and spinach) and Vitamin C (plentiful in bell peppers, strawberries, oranges and tomatoes).

Calcium is also important. Goat cheese and yogurt from Achadinha Cheese Company and salmon from Freshway Fish can supply the calcium that nursing mothers need.

For the third year, the Napa Farmers Market is providing the opportunity for the nonprofit Napa Valley Breastfeeding Coalition to have a booth at the market during World Breastfeeding Week. Stop by the booth on Saturday, Aug. 6, and pick up some information on the benefits of breastfeeding.

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The Napa Farmers Market is a grassroots collective event that empowers the people of Napa to acquire healthy, sustainable, locally grown produce. Community support for lactation accommodation, such as providing time and space for moms to breastfeed or pump breast milk and advocating for moms to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, would greatly increase the frequency and duration of exclusive breastfeeding, in which the infant receives only breastmilk.

Please stop by the Napa Valley Breastfeeding Coalition’s booth on Aug. 6 for additional information.

Coming up at the market: On Saturday, Aug. 6, bring your children to the education area from 10:30 to 11 a.m. for “Feeding Our Feathered Friends.” We’ll be teaching kids to make bird feeders, bird food ornaments and bird nesting resource ornaments using recycled materials and we’ll make healthy snacks for our feathered friends. Hang these creations in your yard and watch winged visitors appreciate your creativity.

The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., May through October, in the parking lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. The third Tuesday of every month is Seniors’ Day at the market, with some vendors offering discounts to shoppers 65 and older. Ask about participating vendors at the information booth. For more market information and a schedule of upcoming events, visit NapaFarmersMarket.org or visit the market on Facebook.

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Connie Evans is a board member of the Napa Farmers’ Market.

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