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Breast/Chest Feeding

Breast/chest feeding is one of the most important preventive health measures for both parent and child.

Indigenous_BFW.jpgBreast/chest feeding exclusively for the first six months (and sustained for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding) is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers.

Perinatal Services BC believes that breast/chest feeding is a population health strategy that must be protected, supported, and promoted to optimize the health of parents and their infants.  

Launched by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in 1991, the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

Perinatal Services BC endorses the Baby-Friendly Initiative as a framework for the provision of evidence-informed care to mothers, infants, and families, and upholds the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes to ensure the appropriate marketing and distribution of human milk substitutes and other products related to the code.

Perinatal Services BC sits on the Provincial/Territorial Implementation Committee for the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC). The BCC is the national authority for the BFI with the mandate of overseeing the implementation, assessment and monitoring of BFI in Canada. 

The BC Women's Provincial Milk Bank screens milk donors, collects and pasteurizes donated milk, and distributes it to hospitals in BC.

Milk from a baby’s own mother is always the first choice. When her milk isn’t available, donor milk is the next best thing. Donor milk has active beneficial properties and is similar to mother’s own milk. It provides babies with antibodies to fight disease and infection. Human milk is best for all babies. It is especially important for sick and very tiny babies.

The demand for milk is high and often exceeds supply. New donors are always needed. Download the list of Facilities with Donor Milk Collection Depots.
These materials promote community support of breast/chest feeding.

Click on the images below to see print ready versions of the promotional materials.

Download and print as many resources as you need for your sites.

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World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, however, it is celebrated in Canada from October 1-7. It is celebrated in October because it is the 10th month of the year and symbolizes the first week of a baby's life (after nine months of pregnancy) when a baby may begin to breastfeed.



The #WBW2023 slogan "Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a difference for working parents" will focus on breast/chest feeding and employment/work. It will showcase the impact of paid leave, workplace support and emerging parenting norms on breast/chest feeding through the lens of parents themselves. Target audiences including governments, policymakers, workplaces, communities and parents will be engaged to play their critical roles in empowering families and sustaining breast/chest feeding-friendly environments in the post-pandemic work life. The theme is aligned with thematic area 4 of the WBW-SDG 2030 campaign. 

 The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) reminds us that although support at the individual level is very important, breast/chest feeding must be considered a public health issue that requires investment at all levels. In Canada, just over 91% of mothers initiate breastfeeding/chestfeeding but 1 in 7 stop before newborn reaches one month of age.** The concept of 'building back better' after the COVID 19 pandemic will provide an opportunity to create a warm chain of support for breast/chest feeding that includes health systems, workplaces and communities at all levels of society. A warm chain of support will help build an enabling environment for breast/chest feeding and protect against industry influence.  It is time to inform, anchor, engage and galvanise action to protect breast/chest feeding at all levels.

**The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)  Canada's Breastfeeding Progress Report 2022.


Learn more: World Breastfeeding Week

Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge
In October, the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge celebrates breastfeeding/chestfeeding and milk-banking and demonstrates promotion, protection, and support for breastfeeding/chestfeeding women and their families. It’s a chance for education and peer support to be done in a fun social way. 

The challenge is usually held the first Saturday in October of each year to see which geographic area (province, state, or territory) has the most breastfeeding/chestfeeding babies, as a percentage of the birthrate, “latched on” at 11 am local time.

2022 Webinar

SOURCE: Breast/Chest Feeding ( )
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