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The BFI Strategy for Ontario and Toronto Public Health are pleased to introduce the first of a series of revised Breastfeeding Protocols designed to assist health care providers with clinical care and support of families who breastfeed. The Protocols are intended to guide clinical decision making with tips and research evidence and educate health care providers with information from basic breastfeeding knowledge to complex situations and challenges.

The revised protocols:

  • Provide excellent, evidence-based guidance for clinical practice
  • Support health care providers with breastfeeding knowledge from novice to expert
  • Assist with problem solving and decision making
  • Support consistency across professions and across the continuum of care
  • Are easily accessed from (search “protocols”)
  • May be downloaded to desktops for instant availability even without internet

Protocols will be released as they are completed. Now available are:

Watch for further announcements and additional protocols. Contact us with any questions or comments at

C’est avec grand plaisir que la Stratégie sur l’initiative Amis des bébés de l’Ontario et la Direction de la santé publique de Toronto présentent le premier d’une série de protocoles d’allaitement révisés conçus pour aider les fournisseurs de soins de santé dans leur pratique clinique et dans les services de soutien qu’ils offrent aux familles qui allaitent. Les protocoles visent à orienter les décisions cliniques à l’aide de conseils et de résultats de recherches, tout en mettant à la disposition des fournisseurs de soins de santé des renseignements de base sur l’allaitement maternel, ainsi que sur les situations complexes et certains des défis qui peuvent se présenter.

Les protocoles révisés :

  • Sont d’excellents guides pour la pratique clinique fondés sur des données probantes.
  • Soutiennent les fournisseurs de soins de santé en leur offrant de l’information de base et spécialisée sur l’allaitement maternel.
  • Facilitent la résolution de problèmes et la prise de décisions.
  • Permettent d’assurer la constance dans les diverses professions et la continuité des soins.
  • Sont facilement accessibles à l’adresse (faire une recherche avec le mot-clé « protocoles ») (en anglais seulement).
  • Peuvent être téléchargés sur votre ordinateur de bureau et consultés à votre guise, même sans accès à Internet.

Les protocoles seront publiés au fur et à mesure qu’ils seront révisés. Vous pouvez consulter les protocoles suivants dès maintenant (en anglais seulement) :

Ne manquez pas les annonces à suivre et la publication d’autres protocoles. N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec nous si vous avez des questions ou si vous voulez nous faire part de vos commentaires en écrivant à

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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!

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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.


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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!


The BFI Ontario Information Sheet.


BCC Breastfeeding Definitions & Data Collection

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The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) is pleased to introduce the updated Breastfeeding Definitions and Data Collection Periods document. (Note: the date on the footer for the updated version is December 31, 2012.) This document was developed by a sub-committee of the BCC’s Provincial Territorial BFI Committee after consultation with a wide group of clinicians, academics, and policy makers.

The BCC definitions describe the human milk intake of infants but do not specify how the infant has received the human milk, nor do the definitions specify the types of other liquids or foods the infant may have received. Algorithms to assist in collecting data to identify breastfeeding exclusivity and duration are provided for infants from birth to 5 completed months of age and for infants 6 months or more of age.

The Breastfeeding Definitions and Data Collection document is intended to be used in conjunction with the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) BFI Integrated 10 Steps Practice Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services which describe the international standards for the WHO/UNICEF Global Criteria within the Canadian context. This document is available on the BCC website and may be accessed at Breastfeeding Definitions and Data Collection Periods.

Additional documents and resources providing information on the BFI assessment process and calculation of exclusive breastfeeding statistics is also available on the BCC website.

If you have any questions please contact the Chair of the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada by email at or via the contact form on the BCC website.

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Final BFI Assessment Process and Costs

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