It takes a community to raise a child, which includes protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding. Does your community program work closely with parents, young children, and families?
This webpage is a great place to learn more about how you can support breastfeeding parents in your community.
Pregnant clients and families are vulnerable to advertising from sellers of baby products. The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) supports that breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for parents and infants, and that families need space to make informed feeding decisions without the influence of marketing from formula companies.
- Our baby-friendly pledge for families (PDF) – Northern Health
- Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) – World Health Organization (WHO)
- Baby-Friendly Initiative – Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC)
- The Baby-Friendly Initiative: Strengthening Indigenous families and communities (video) – BFI Strategy Ontario
- Breastfeeding wellness teachings: For mothers, families, and communities (PDF) – First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)
- Breastfeeding wellness tips: For mothers and community helpers (PDF) – First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)
In Canada, National Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from October 1 to 7. This is because October is the 10th month of the year, symbolizing the first week of a baby's life after 9 months of pregnancy - the time when baby may begin to breastfeed.
National Breastfeeding Week is a time for families, health care providers, and advocates to come together and shine a light on efforts to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Watch for promotional activities from Northern Health and learn how you can get involved to celebrate National Breastfeeding Week in your community.
Celebrate other breastfeeding weeks:
- World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 to 7) - World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)
- Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25 to 31) - Black Breastfeeding Week
- Indigenous Milk Medicine Week (second Sunday of August)
- Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week (third week of August)
- Breastfeeding-friendly spaces – Northern Health
Do staff in your program support families with infant feeding? Education can help to ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to support families with their infant feeding goals. Below are some options for breastfeeding education.
- Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) online training (various options) – Step 2 Education International
- Breast/chestfeeding course for health care providers (12 weeks) – Douglas College
- Breast/chestfeeding course: Foundational concepts (20 hours) – Douglas College
- Breastfeeding e-Learning (1 hour) - Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
- Latching on: How family physicians can support breastfeeding patients (1.5 hours) – University of British Columbia (UBC) Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- NSPN 7150 – The breastfeeding experience (45 hours) – British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
- Supporting mothers and babies: Understanding breastfeeding and the Baby-Friendly Initiative (15 minutes) - Best Start by Health Nexus
- Breastfeeding info A to Z – La Leche League International
- Professional resources: Breastfeeding – Perinatal Services BC
- Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding: A practical workbook for community-based programs - 2nd Edition – Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
Featured NH stories
- Breastfeeding: A cultural approach can make all the difference
- Breastfeeding-friendly spaces: Shifting attitudes about breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding is easier with support: What child care providers can do
- Celebrating National Breastfeeding Week: Our pledge for all families
For more information
- Email us at Breastfeeding@northernhealth.ca
- Connect with an Aboriginal Patient Liaison (PDF) from Northern Health (NH)
- Explore doula services from First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)
- Learn how to become a leader with La Leche League Canada (LLLC)
- Reach out to British Columbia Lactation Consultants Association (BCLCA)
- If English is a barrier for families you work with, consider interpreter or translation services through Provincial Healthy Services Authority Provincial Language Service