This is World Breastfeeding Week – Provincial supports available
New mothers and mothers-to-be in Ontario are being reminded that there are provincial supports available to help them breastfeed. The announcement was made to coincide with World Breastfeeding Week.
“The majority of moms in Ontario want to breastfeed. It’s convenient, healthy and a great way for moms and babies to bond. World Breastfeeding Week is an important time to encourage moms to make use of the many services available in this province to help them continue breastfeeding,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
The World Health Organization recommends infants be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their lives. This means that the baby receives no food or drink other than breast milk. But it can take time and practice for both moms and their babies to learn how to breastfeed. That’s why Ontario has invested in support programs across the province, including:
- Telephone support: Ontarians can get confidential breastfeeding support, advice and referrals from registered nurses with specialized breastfeeding training 24 hours a day, seven days a week. One-to-one coaching and referrals to local community services are provided. Call toll-free at 1-866-797-0000.
- Local supports: Ontarians can find local breastfeeding support service through a searchable online list. This list includes breastfeeding services located in local Community Health Centres, Public Health Units, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, and other community based organizations.
Investing in breastfeeding supports is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come, the government said in a statement.
- Breastfeeding has many benefits for babies, including: better overall health, protection from illness and infections, healthy brain development, maintaining a healthy body weight and proper jaw and tooth growth.
- Breastfeeding also has benefits for mothers including: controlling bleeding after baby’s birth, reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis
- The Baby-Friendly Initiative is a globally recognized standard for infant feeding and breastfeeding promotion, and supports exclusive breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact within the first hour of birth.