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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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