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Canada is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week October 1-7th, 2010. The 2010 WBW theme, “Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps! The Baby-Friendly Way,” draws attention to simple steps that hospitals, community health services, health care providers, workplaces, the community, and families can take to help mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals. The WBW theme refers to the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Initiative that focuses on “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.” Research shows that when hospitals and community health services implement these steps they directly increase breastfeeding duration and exclusivity rates. There is still a long way to go to improve maternity care practices to support exclusive breastfeeding. This year‘s theme provides an opportunity to revisit and re-energize the Baby-Friendly Initiative. In Canada we now have 33 Baby-Friendly designated facilities; however there are no Baby-Friendly facilities east of Quebec.
Regional health authorities in Newfoundland and Labrador are striving to achieve Baby-Friendly standards by implementing steps that include: establishing evidenced-based policies, providing special education for health care providers, helping mothers to hold their babies skin-to-skin immediately after birth for the first hour, avoiding formula supplementation unless medically necessary, avoiding artificial bottles, nipples and pacifiers, encouraging mother and baby to stay together during the hospital stay, eliminating free formula samples and company literature, and connecting mothers to support in the community once discharged.
According to Dr. Leigh Anne Newhook, pediatrician and mother of four breastfed children, breastfeeding rates in Newfoundland and Labrador are well below the national average. Many women who attempt breastfeeding struggle with preventable problems and end up supplementing with formula or weaning well before the recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding. “Research clearly shows that providing mother and baby with skin-to-skin contact right after birth, initiating breastfeeding within one hour of birth, and not supplementing babies with formula all improve breastfeeding success. If hospitals in Newfoundland and Labrador could provide care that meets Baby-Friendly standards, our breastfeeding rates would surely improve, thus providing the best short and long term health protection for both mother and baby.”
Registered nurses, physicians and other health care providers can offer praise to new mothers and encourage them to seek help if they have concerns. Families can tell new mothers how proud they are that baby is breastfeeding and can offer to help with all the other tasks relating to family and household. Communities and workplaces can also welcome breastfeeding mothers and their families.
Communities around Newfoundland and Labrador are encouraged to join breastfeeding mothers and their babies in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week and in working together to establish breastfeeding as the cultural norm for infant feeding in this province.
Check out the following list of WBW activities to see what is happening in your region.
Upper Lake Melville
Annual Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge will be held at the Labrador Friendship Centre, in the Multipurpose Room on Saturday Oct 2, 2010 from 10:00 am until 11:30 am. There will be loot bags for all mothers attending, as well as a door prize, and refreshments. Volunteers will be on site to provide activities for siblings of breastfeeding children.
Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge will be held October 2, 2010 at the newer Wee College Classroom located in the Pentecostal Church on Hudson Drive. Registration from 10:15am -10:45am. We will have refreshments, prizes and gifts!
Lanse au Loup
Breastfeeding celebration in partnership with the Family Resource Centre, October 4th from 12:00-1:00 pm at the Lanse au Loup Town Centre. Anyone who is currently breastfeeding, supports breastfeeding, or breastfed in the past is welcome.
Port Aux Basques
Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2010
Thursday October 7th 1:00-3:00 pm
Lobby of Dr. Charles Legrow Health Center
Breastfeeding to the First Year and Beyond
Tuesday Oct 5th, 6:00-7:30 pm
347 O’Connell Drive Upper Level Common area
Breastfeeding celebration for breastfeeding moms and other women interested in breastfeeding
Oct 6th 2:30-3:30 pm
LS Eddy Bldg Gallant Street, Stephenville
“Thank you for breastfeeding” session
Drop in group October 5th 2:30 pm in Boardroom Public Health Office Stephenville Crossing
Open to all past present and future breastfeeding moms.
St. John’s Area
World Breastfeeding Week Celebration Saturday October 2, 2010, 10am – 12pm Avalon Mall, Main Floor near the Gap. Come join us for a morning of free family fun Take part in the Breastfeeding Challenge Learn how to wear your baby with a sling\carrier See the displays. Snacks * Prizes * Children’s entertainment.
10:30 am Baby-wearing workshop
11:00 am Breastfeeding Challenge