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POPULATION HEALTH: Promotion and Prevention 

World Breastfeeding Week 2010: Just 10 Steps
The Baby Friendly Way

Published on Connect Magazine, Fall 2011

In the first week of October, Eastern Health joined other organizations across Canada in celebrating the 19th Annual World Breastfeeding Week. This year’s theme was “Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps, The Baby Friendly Way”.

The theme’s objective aimed to highlight the important role the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding play in increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates ensuring that maternal child health care workers are adequately trained in lactation support and reinvigorating health systems and providers to support women in their breastfeeding goals.

The World Breastfeeding Week local activities were organized throughout the region by the Regional Breastfeeding Committees aimed at increasing awareness of breastfeeding across the entire spectrum of our community and across all life spans.

At a community level, the cities of St. John’s & Mount Pearl held proclamations supporting World Breastfeeding Week. Attending the proclamations were supporting members from the CEO of Eastern Health, to breastfeeding moms and babies. The City Councils received both the message and the attendees with enthusiasm. Events, and the importance of the steps, were highlighted in several media venues including The Telegram. The article highlighted the role of support groups in a mother’s breastfeeding experience, as well as several other public service venues.

Every opportunity was taken to increase awareness and create discussion about breastfeeding. We distributed “Do It” bookmarks in random mailboxes to generate some discussion, plus we distributed posters in the retail outlets and education institutions, all aimed at normalizing breastfeeding as an everyday issue. In addition to this, a “Baby Steps to Breastfeeding Success” promotion was held for nurses within the urban region. Nurses were encouraged to branch out and do something extra during the week that supported breastfeeding. We had nurses read breastfeeding stories to children and other nurses who participated in a coloring sheet play activity while discussing breastfeeding as the normal way to feed a baby. Another nurse took the initiative to create a poster board celebrating breastfeeding that was displayed in the building’s entrance throughout the week.

Public celebrations were held throughout the region. At the Avalon Mall, breastfeeding families were invited to join in celebrations. There were prize draws, a baby-wearing workshop, a local photo display and poster displays addressing Fathers & Breastfeeding, Myths Regarding Breastfeeding, Going Green with Breastfeeding and the Benefits of Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding materials were distributed to select campuses of the College of the North Atlantic and Family Resource Centres. Carbonear, Burin and Clarenville hospitals provided socks bouquets to new mothers and babies during the week to highlight the steps that are being taken to support breastfeeding families.

The events were varied and plenty, but the message was clear; it is the Baby Steps that will lead us to increased Breastfeeding Success. ■


Updated Jan 10, 2012