TIMMINS – The annual quintessence breastfeeding challenge is taking place around the world, including Timmins, with the goal of normalizing breastfeeding.

"People sometimes are still not exactly used to seeing women breastfeed in public, and they're not aware that it is a human right to be able to breastfeed anywhere, anytime," said Chani Delorme, Public Health Nurse.

"So often they have not even seen a baby breastfeed, let alone have been exposed in their families. So going into breastfeeding, that makes it difficult when you look around you and you don't have that support," said Pamela Drynan, Lactation Consultant.

"Cause I know a lot of people are still stigmatized that like it's not normal and that you should like hide away to feed your child," said Laurissa Crocetti, Timmins resident who wants to normalize breastfeeding.

Nurses say the event has many benefits.

It's social, educational and provides support.

Health Unit officials say fewer moms in the Timmins area opt to breastfeed, but say there are many services offered to help them.

"We do offer one workshop specifically on breastfeeding so to help parents prepare for breastfeeding once their little ones come. We also offer help over the telephone," said Delorme.

There is also the Timmins Breastfeeding Coalitions and the Sip N Latch Mommy Group.

"I think they get together once a month at the YMCA early on Centre. It's just a bunch of moms get together and latch on and there's leaders that can help your or answer questions," explained Karin Ostler, citizen who is passionate about breastfeeding acceptance.

"We struggled with brastfeeding at the beginning, but I was able to acces some of the awesome community services which helped us continue our journey now for seven months. I've always felt comfortable nursing everywhere and never had any issues with that," said Kayla Verville, breastfeeding advocate.

Nurses say more events like these where all families are welcome will eventually help increase breastfeeding in Timmins.