We are pleased to share some very exciting news from the BCC Board. The BCC is excited to announce that the Public Health Agency of Canada is funding $1.3 million over five years to improve maternal infant health by increasing breastfeeding rates in Canada.  The primary aim of the project is to revitalize and expand implementation of the Baby-Friendly Initiative in Canada.  The project will adapt, implement and evaluate a national quality improvement initiative with 25 participating hospitals.  Hospitals will be invited to apply for this opportunity in the coming months and will be supported through a national learning collaborative with a series of workshops and webinars as they move forward on their BFI journey.

Michelle LeDrew has been awarded the position of National BCC Baby-Friendly Project Director and will provide leadership to the BCC funded projects. Michelle has volunteered with the BCC for the past 17 years and is a Lead Baby-Friendly Assessor.  She is past co-chair of the BCC Assessment Committee and the BCC Board. Michelle is passionate about improving maternal infant health and recognizes that breastfeeding is an important opportunity to support individual families as well as improve population health. She has worked in public health and acute care environments as a Registered Nurse and Senior Health Leader for the past 26 years.  Most recently, Michelle was the Director, Women's and Newborn Health Program at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. The IWK Health Centre is a tertiary centre with over 4800 births annually and a 40 bed NICU. In July 2018, the IWK was designated Baby-Friendly.  Michelle is thrilled to have the opportunity to work collaboratively across Canada to spread the uptake of BFI and is eager to get started.

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Guest blog by Kathy O’Grady Venter and Marianne Brophy. Kathy (Toronto) and Marianne (Vancouver) are both IBCLCs (1990) and UNICEF-trained BFI assessors and educators (1994), working on the implementation and assessment of the BFI in Canada and internationally.

As a duo of seasoned Baby-Friendly Initiative supporters, we decided to tackle this blog together as we have done with most of our work over the past 30 years.

The WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a globally implemented strategy which has evolved since 1991 for the purpose of providing consistent evidence-based care for families.

In our travels we have found that this Initiative looks a little different from country to country and even from one health care facility to another, with available support and resources melding with attitudes and commitment to create a kaleidoscope of implementation strategies. Strategies are shared at international meetings of the BFHI Network of County Coordinators.

Nutrition builds the platform for health and well being of people throughout the life span, and powerful research evidence[i] indicates the importance of breastfeeding in saving lives, improving long term health outcomes and cutting health care costs in every country worldwide.

Read more here!

https://www.unicef.ca/en/blog/baby-friendly-hospital-initiative-step-step-day-day-thats-still-baby-friendly-way

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Breast milk has become a political issue. At the World Health Assembly the US opposed a resolution promoting breast feeding. Are governments bowing to the food industry at the expense of child health? Do infant formula manufacturers have too much power? Joining us at the Roundtable is Alice Delemare, Campaign adviser at Changing Markets; Patti Rundall, Policy Director at Baby Milk Action; Sabita Uthaya, Consultant in Neonatal Medicine at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital; and Mitch Blair, Professor of Paediatrics and Child Public Health at Imperial College London. Roundtable is a discussion programme with an edge. Broadcast out of London and presented by David Foster, it's about bringing people to the table, listening to every opinion, and analysing every point of view. From fierce debate to reflective thinking, Roundtable discussions offer a different perspective on the issues that matter to you.

https://www.trtworld.com/video/roundtable/baby-business-is-the-milk-formula-industry-too-powerful/5b59dbf60ab8e2110baea6c5

 

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A  member has shared this link to a video featuring Dr. Ariel Dalfen (a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai hospital), Courtney Jung (author of the book “Lactivism”), and a woman who gave birth 8 years ago who links her postpartum depression with  feelings of being pressured to breastfeed by healthcare providers.   Members are encouraged to always practice in accordance with the BFI Practice Outcome Indicators and facilitate informed decision making about infant feeding and being supportive of the decisions made by our clients.

Video link is: http://www.ctv.ca/YourMorning/Video/The-breastfeeding-pressures-new-moms-face-vid1063591

A booklet produced by Unicef (United Kingdom) titled “Having Meaningful Conversations with Mothers” might be useful in your practice.  Please see the link below.
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/0cf6f2962d293fc1b5356938e/files/3735f70a-2270-4711-b97f-ba43cf93c203/meaningful_conversations.pdf

Another resource that you may wish to check out is a free webinar by Nancy Mohrbacher through Gold Learning.  The presentation will be live at noon (EST) on March 1st.   The description of the presentation indicates that it is about recent research that provides insight into how breastfeeding help is perceived by the families in our care.   Link is: https://www.goldlearning.com/ce-library/all-lectures/free-webinar-%7C-a-mother-s-eye-view-of-breastfeeding-help-detail#utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=IBCLCDay

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Briefing Note                                                

SUBJECT/ISSUE:
The BFI Ontario executive members would like to address the recent media releases regarding the death of Florence Leung, and the perception that the Baby-Friendly Initiative pressures mothers to breastfeed.

BACKGROUND:
From recent media coverage, we know that Florence Leung was a mother of a young son and also struggling with postpartum depression. Florence Leung went missing in late October and her body was recovered by police on November 16, 2016 in the waters near Bowen Island, B. C. No evidence of foul play was suspected.
Florence's husband, Dr. Kim Chen, posted messages on Facebook regarding the pressures to exclusively breastfeed and how mothers can feel guilty and perceive themselves as a "bad mother" when they feed infant formula.
On January 25, 2017, the CBC program, “The Current” aired a podcast about Florence Leung, titled “Breastfeeding ‘lactivists’ may be doing more harm than good, says author”. The podcast and story can be found at the following link: The Current

COMMENTS:
BFI Ontario wishes to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Florence Leung.
The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) is aware of this tragic situation and the associated media coverage regarding Florence Leung, and are prepared to provide a statement if requested. BFI Ontario will provide notice to the membership if the BCC makes a public statement.
The British Columbia Lactation Consultant Association has issued a news release that articulates the key messages and addresses concerns around shaming and pressuring mothers to breastfeed, and their commitment to “support access to services that are tailored to the unique needs of each mother-baby pair”. This news release will be posted on the BFI Ontario website.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
BFI designated organizations and organizations pursuing BFI designation can be confident that the Baby-Friendly Initiative supports all mothers, regardless of their infant feeding decision.

Submitted by:
Robyn Merkley, RN
Political Advocate, BFI Ontario

Date: February 1, 2017

CBC News Briefing Note

British Columbia Lactation Consultant Association News Release

 

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Baby Box Canada Briefing Note

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20150505_110453 (2)Having the BFI Ontario Display at your event is now easier than ever! Simply go to the BFI Display page in the Members section and fill out the form. We will send the display free of charge! You can also download our information sheets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The newest document from BFI Ontario and the Best Start Resource Centre is now available to download. You can find it here!

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The BFI Ontario Information Sheet.

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BCC Breastfeeding Definitions & Data Collection

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