World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated from August 1-7 2015. This year’s theme centres on women feeling comfortable to breastfeed anytime and anywhere, whether at work or in public.
“It has come to light that in recent months a number of mothers have been asked to leave public areas in our community because they were breastfeeding their baby,” says Melinda Bruno, a public health nurse. “This is an issue in our community and we feel it needs to be addressed as it effects breastfeeding duration.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to 2 years of age and beyond.
APH collects stats at various time intervals after a baby is discharged from the hospital; 48 hours, 2 weeks and 6 weeks. In Algoma, 80 per cent of mothers initiate breastfeeding at birth. By 6 weeks, only 59 per cent are breastfeeding their baby. (See attached info graphic)
In Ontario, approximately 90 per cent of mothers want to breastfeed, but only 60 per cent do so when they leave the hospital after giving birth. By six months, only 28 per cent are breastfeeding.
As the only designated Baby Friendly organization in Algoma, we are committed to supporting mothers make the informed decision about infant feeding, feel comfortable, supported, and educated about their choice.
“As a community, it is our responsibility to support breastfeeding mothers everywhere as it is the healthiest option for the baby,” says Bruno.
About the Baby Friendly Initiative
Baby-Friendly Initiative is a global campaign of the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund that was initiated in 1991. BFI helps to improve breastfeeding outcomes for mothers and babies by improving the quality of their care. The term Baby-Friendly was selected because it points to the importance of an agency being inclusive of all babies regardless of how they are fed.