“Mothers, Grandparents, Fathers: Breastfeeding, Tradition, Support and the Penobscot Nation,” a new film about breastfeeding, support and healthy traditions, will premiere Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nick Sapiel Building at the Penobscot Nation. The film was co-produced by Belfast’s Nicolle Littrell of Woman in the Moon Films.

“Mothers, Grandparents, Fathers” looks at the breastfeeding and infant safety program created from a $20,000 Breastfeeding Grant awarded to the Penobscot Indian Health Department by the National Library of Medicine, with the purpose of reducing the incidence of diabetes, obesity and chronic illness in the Penobscot Indian Nation. In indigenous communities of the United States, the rate of diabetes has risen 70 percent in the last 25 years. Studies show that exclusive breastfeeding and early infant feeding habits may help to prevent it.

The program, which centered around three workshops held this past summer, emphasized the importance of breastfeeding; natural weaning; early infant feeding and infant safety; and support for breastfeeding mothers.

It focused on grandparents to make sure the latest and correct information was available to families, hoping they would help support mothers with breastfeeding and infant care. The program also includes a peer counselor component, with Wabanaki women available in their community to support breastfeeding mothers and help women access good information.

The film centers on the people who participated in and facilitated the program.  The stories, experiences and knowledge of breastfeeding Wabanaki mothers, a father of an infant and grandmothers, along with program facilitators are the heart of the film.  The film and several of the workshops will be available on the National Library of Medicine’s website, nlm.nih.gov.

“Mothers, Grandparents, Fathers: Breastfeeding, Tradition, Support and the Penobscot Nation” was co-produced by Andrea Mietkiewicz and Littrell. The film screening is open to the public. Following the film, there will be a discussion and refreshments.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.