Canada Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week! Hundreds of displays,
newspaper articles, television and radio interviews during August
1 to 7 focused on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers
and their children. News reports told the public that women had
the right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere ; that breastfeeding
provides optimal health for both mother and infant; that communities,
institutions and governments need to act to ensure that all women
are supported to breastfeed and that the artificial baby milk
companies still continue to undermin e women's intent to breastfeed
with misleading messages and free samples.
Across Canada breastfeeding networks, breastfeeding supporters,
women's groups, public health and hospitals took the challenge
and their reports make encouraging reading for those of us at
- New mothers from Saddle Lake, Alberta, who breastfeed for
more than two months are awarded a Breastfeeding Empowers Women
T-shirt, reports, Sheila Redcrow.
- A Mother-Baby-Friendly restaurant campaign was launched in
Saskatoon, lactation consultant, Lorraine Khachatourians, tells
us. Filmed by the local CBC, the launch received province wide
- "Le Meilleur Contenue dans le plus Beau Contenant"
was the theme in press releases sent throughout Quebec by La
Leche Quebec. Suzanne Dionne from Granby tells us there were
numerous TV and radio ads, interviews and newspaper articles
in many parts of the province.
- Photographer Bernard McCaffrey, whose photo of a breastfeeding
woman and daughter breastfeeding her doll appeared on the WBW
poster, Breastfeeding Empowers Women, has gained well
deserved notoriety. Several newspapers throughout the Ottawa
vall ey commended him for having his work chosen for the poster
that was displayed across North America (INFACT received calls
from as far as Texas telling us they loved the photograph!).
He also reports that Pembroke city council refused to proclaim
WBW until several women with infants and husbands in tow, confronted
and informed the council.
- Molly Butler, manager of the BC department of Public Health
Nursing assembled a breastfeeding information package which was
sent to all BC public Health Units/Departments and Hospitals.
Composed of bookmark, poster and information sheets on empowering
women, the impact of pacifiers, baby bottle caries and the cost
of infant feeding.
- From the Northwestern Health Unit in Kenora we hear that
the town council proclaimed WBW and newspapers in all communities
ran the WBW press release. Interestingly in each community, a
WBW t-shirt was given to the first breastfed baby born during
August 1 to 7. In Kenora, Minwaabaminaagwad Odisabadamowinan
Wiidookagewin (Brighter Futures Program), a program run by the
Anishinaabe women, set up a mall display and produced laminated
"You are welcome to breastfeed here" signs for store
- Further south, health units in Ontario again overwhelmed
us with their enthusiasm. Elgin St Thomas, public health nurse
Isabel Resendes sent us a copy of the newsletter developed for
health professionals who work with breastfeeding women. She writes,
"In St Thomas we had the honour of having our mayor proclaim
August 1-7 as WBW. An article with photographs was also published
in several local papers. Displays celebrating the week were also
put in our lobby and at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital."
The Lambton County Breastfeeding Council had the week proclaimed
by Sarnia's mayor, held a picnic, a mall display and were able
to cancel a Mead Johnson "nutrition" seminar at the
local YMCA! And Wellington, Dufferin, Guelph , Sandy Keller spearheaded
a team of health and social service providers, local merchants
and community supporters in an impressive number of events. These
included 11 restaurants with displaying "Breastfeeding Welcome
Here"; community picnics in Fergus and Orangeville; special
prizes for breastfeeding mothers giving birth during WBW; poster
displays in malls, hospitals, clinics and community centres;
photos and stories in local media throughout the week.
Watch for more great stories in the Fall 95 Newsletter!
Summer 95 Contents