Breastfeeding Awareness Walk on Four Bears Bridge

By Jacqueline Hayward Spegal

Finance Officer

On the morning of Friday, August 12th, 2021 the Three Affiliated Tribes WIC program held the Third Annual Breastfeeding Awareness Walk Held on the Four Bears Bridge, in New Town, ND. Shayla Gayton and Sabrina McIntosh organized the event. Over 20 participants came and wore the awareness t-shirts and walked together. There were tables set up with free merchandise, including t-shirts and water bottles. 

The purpose of the event was to “get people together and active, and also just breastfeeding awareness and have a little bit of fun in the community.” Said McIntosh. Gayton went on to further explain “It is for Breastfeeding Awareness Month, which is August, it was just an event to bring awareness to breastfeeding and let the community just come and support the breastfeeding mothers here.” 

Both of the organizers work for the Three Affiliated Tribes WIC program. McIntosh is the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and Gayton is the Breastfeeding  

BREAST FEEDING AWARENESS SUPPORTERS
SABRINA MCINTOSH, CENTER LEFT AND SHAYLA GAYTON, CENTER RIGHT WITH TWO YOUNG SUPPORTERS

BREAST FEEDING AWARENESS SUPPORTERS

Coordinator. They also breastfed their own children and have a passion for helping other mothers trouble shoot through difficulty. “I had support from my family, but no one knew anything about breastfeeding or had any advice to give me. So that is why I want to make sure that the community knows that we are here and what we do; and that we can support breastfeeding families.” Explained Gayton. “There’s a generational gap, especially in the US, where a lot of our parents just didn’t breastfeed at all. So, there is a knowledge gap, so it is even more important for us to be able to reach people that need that knowledge.” McIntosh further clarified. She also explained that they are there to give “support without the pressure” and that they are there to help and go over all options. They will support whichever feeding style the family chooses.

The Three Affiliated Tribes WIC Breastfeeding Program is available for everyone in the MHA Nation to seek guidance, “Regardless of whether they are on WIC, they are welcome to call, because we are here for the community too.” McIntosh explained. Gayton is certified as an Indigenous Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and McIntosh was previously a Birthing Doula. These backgrounds allow them to offer help to the community whether or not a family is qualifies for or is enrolled in the TAT WIC Program.   

To get in touch with the Three Affiliated Tribes WIC Program, you can contact them at the phone numbers below.

Main Office:  701-627-4642

Sabrina McIntosh: 209-418-9586, Breast Feeding Peer Counselor

Shayla Gayton: 701-421-0362, Breast Feeding Coordinator