Fall 97 Newsletter INFACT Canada


Canada Breastfeeds News

World Breastfeeding Week 1997 Canada Celebrates October 1

You’ve done it again!

More than ever before communities across Canada honoured, acclaimed, applauded, and celebrated breastfeeding. You organized displays, picnics, surveys, speakers, and contest. You informed through the media, to physicians, to the public that breastfeeding is the way babies are nourished. Here are some examples:

From Manitoba, the Breastfeeding Interest Group, chaired by Wendy Prentice, organized a display, attracting over 150 families at the Forks Market, Winnipeg. This active group also coordinated an educational campaign -- Nature’s Way -- for community health nurses, and a Breastfeeding Week proclamation by mayor, Susan Thompson.

From British Columbia, Jean Hagreen, nurse and lactation consultant, spearheaded hospital and community breastfeeding displays in Prince George. Mayor Colin Kinsley declared October 1-7 Breastfeeding Week.

From Alberta, the northern regional breastfeeding committee, reports media coverage of a campaign putting framed posters of the Ten Steps in local hospitals and health units, as well as a radio programme on breastfeeding with a public health nurse. Dr. Shirley Gross and Karen Grue presented on “How to deal with mother-in-law and others ways to support breastfeeding”.

From Quebec, Jocelyne Cyr and the INFACT Quebec team prepared a World Breastfeeding Week action kit in French, that included articles and posters covering the theme “l’allaitement maternel 100% naturel” as well as a French INFACT Bulletin.

From New Brunswick, Miramichi, which has experienced a 23 per cent increase in breastfeeding rates over the past five years, community health nurse and Regional Team Manager, Nicole Hache-Faulkner and her public health team set up roadside signs on the main highway into Miramichi. From Oct 1 to 7, the signs with rotating messages in both French and English, read, “Breastfeeding Nature’s Way -- Allaiter, c’est naturel”. “Breastfeeding Anywhere, Anytime -- Allaiter, n’importe où, n’importe quand.” Also this active team arranged public service announcements read by local Medical Officer of Health, nutritionist and pediatrician.

From Ontario, North York public health nutritionist, Mary-Jo Makarchuk and nursing mothers teamed up with Swiss Chalet restaurants to announce a “breastfeeding friendly” policy to encourage family dining. Swiss Chalet has posted breastfeeding friendly signs at 148 locations across Canada. “When businesses become family friendly, they are demonstrating their commitment to building the health of the community,” says, Makarchuk.

And the Southeastern Ontario Breastfeeding Coalition organized a Picnic in the Park breastfeeding families, attracting over 130 parents and children, with children’s entertainment, puppets, balloons, face painting etc. as well as drop-in centres for pregnant women, mothers and babies.

From Newfoundland, “Go with the Flow” from Cornerbrook to St. John’s, hit the mark as the provincial coalition organized numerous events, displays, media coverage, and even contests. The Janeway Hospital put artificial feeding garbage collected over several days on display and held a contest to guess the number of days to collect the garbage.

From Nova Scotia, thumbs up to Yarmouth, for excellent media coverage that included 2 radio programs including CBC, public service announcements and community cable television showing breastfeeding videos. A newspaper blitz and mall displays promoting breastfeeding were financially supported by local pharmacies.

From Prince Edward Island, Donna Walsh, and the PEI Breastfeeding Committee not only got the Minister of Health, Mildred Dover, to proclaim World Breastfeeding Week, but also reports that her committee distributed 100 information packets to physicians and nutritionists, including the Ten Steps to a Breastfeeding Friendly Office.

And Saskatchewan’s active breastfeeding committee with plans to being a “breastfeeding-friendly” province by 2000 has again taken significant steps forward. North Battleford City Council passed “breastfeeding-friendly” designations for all city administered facilities. Saskatoon district health will provide a weekly lactation consultant service at a major downtown department store. In addition, the presence of Clay Serby, the Minister of Health, at the November breastfeeding conference has resulted in a meeting and further dialogue, reports Johanna Bergerman, nutritionist and chair of the committee.

And some future plans...

In Alberta permanent breastfeeding displays are planned for conferences, hospitals and malls, while in New Brunswick, a public health nurse is saving a years worth of formula feeding garbage which will be turned into a display for local high schools.

If you have events, ideas to report, please let us know so we can share your information with others!

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