INDIAN ISLAND, Maine — A film about breastfeeding, infant safety and healthy traditions among mothers in the Penobscot Indian Nation will premiere at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13. at the Nick Sapiel Building on Indian Island.
The free screening is open to the public.
The 45-minute feature, shot by filmmaker Nicolle Littrell, documented three workshops held this past summer, which emphasized the importance of breastfeeding, natural weaning, early infant feeding and safety, as well as support for breastfeeding mothers.
The film follows the stories and experiences of the mothers as they learned more about breastfeeding and the health of their children.
The program was created from a $20,000 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 in the United States, the rate of diabetes has risen 70 percent in the past 25 years. Studies show that exclusive breastfeeding and early infant feeding habits may help to prevent this, according to Andrea Mietkiewicz, organizer of the program and maternal-child health coordinator for Penobscot Nation Health Department.
A preview of the film may be seen on YouTube by searching for “Mothers, Grandparents, Fathers: Breastfeeding, Support, Tradition and the Penobscot Nation.”