The City of Ottawa declares recreation facilities and parks breastfeeding friendly
From Maureen Kennedy, Public Health Nurse with the City of Ottawa: "In October 2002 in support of World Breastfeeding Week, the City of Ottawa Community Services Branch declared all recreation facilities and parks in Ottawa breastfeeding friendly. In support of this declaration, the City of Ottawa’s Family Services Breastfeeding Committee developed a Breastfeeding Friendly poster. It is being distributed throughout the City, to recreation and child care facilities, as well as to physicians’ offices."
Chairperson of the Durham Region Breastfeeding Coalition, Donna Schinkle, minces no words in a letter dated January 6, 2003, to Ken Hewitt, of the Ajax Wal-Mart in her objections to flyers promoting the store brand infant formula. "In addition, no infant food may be marketed in ways that undermine breastfeeding. The International Code states in part that, ‘there should be no advertising or other form of promotion to the general public of products within the scope of this code, Article 5.1.’ "I would like to know what action you are going to take to rectify this situation and look forward to hearing from you soon."
AAIA not independent
The Allergy Asthma Information Association (AAIA), is known for its acceptance of donations from the food industry, including Nestlé. AAIA’s website notes Nestlé among its "Friends of the AAIA," and readily informs its readers of Nestlé’s allergy-free infant formulas. Never mind that overwhelmingly formula-fed infants have much higher incidence of allergies and asthma than breastfed infants.
INFACT Canada member Janet Fox Beer, pediatric nurse and public health nurse in St. John’s, Newfoundland, notes that although the organization provides valuable information and programs for families with atopic children, she is disappointed with the highlighting of the controversial McMaster-based research (see p. 4 of our Summer/Fall 2002 issue) questioning the benefits of breastfeeding in relationship to asthma and allergy prevention.
She goes on, "The issue of breastfeeding and its fundamental role in promoting the overall child health may need more in-depth examination by the AAIA. Numerous studies, some done in Canada, have conclusively shown that the immunological and nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, for atopic children especially, have played an indisputable role in decreased morbidity, fewer hospital admissions and reduced reliance on prescription medications. Despite these facts, the promotion of breastfeeding remains a struggle. The pharmaceutical and formula companies’ aggressive marketing strategies have negatively impacted the protection of breastfeeding in Canada. We, as providers of health care information, must alert ourselves to the biases of all these players and be relentless in our attempts to offer ethical and accurate information to vulnerable families."
Newfoundland Breastfeeding Friendly Communities
— code compliant first baby of the year!
Making their communities more breastfeeding friendly is the goal of the Eastern Regional Breastfeeding Committee of Grace Harbour. To achieve this they asked for the support of their local media. The Committee, chaired by Colleen Kearley, sent a letter to all local newspapers requesting their help in code compliance for annual promotions of first baby of the year.
"We are asking you to help through your annual promotions for the first baby of the year. During this time, we see the generosity of a variety of sponsors, as well as a number of graphics in the newspapers to celebrate the birth of the baby. Often, gifts offered to the new mother would include those designed for use with artificial feeding, for example formula, bottles, pacifiers etc. Also the graphics used would depict these items. The World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes (Geneva 1981) assists with making communities breastfeeding friendly (see attached copy). We are asking that you consider not giving gifts or using graphics associated with artificial feeding in your promotions of the first baby of the year. Educational toys, books and diapers are alternatives. By making this change, you can assist with the creation of supportive environments for breastfeeding women and their families."
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