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Region Focuses on Breastfeeding Support for Mothers

World Breastfeeding Week October 1 - 7, 2013

September 19, 2013

Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, October 1 – 7, 2013. The 2013 theme Breastfeeding Support: Close To Mothers” highlights the critical importance of breastfeeding support during pregnancy and throughout the days and weeks after delivery.

In the Prairie provinces, over 90% of women start breastfeeding, but by six months only 30% have continued breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community of support for mothers is essential. Support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways from various people. Traditionally, support is provided by the family; however, support for mothers from a wider circle is also needed. This can include support from trained health workers, lactation consultants, community leaders, and especially, from friends and fathers/partners.

Support from these individuals can encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant's life and continued breastfeeding with the addition of appropriate foods until the child is two years old and beyond, as recommended by the World Health Organization. Fathers play a vital role in supporting breastfeeding and with fathers' help, mothers are more likely to continue breastfeeding.

Exclusively breastfed infants have a lower risk of chronic disease including obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease, as well as a lower risk of ear infections, and asthma/allergies. Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing complete nutrition to babies. Breast milk not only provides the perfect nutrition for babies, it is convenient, portable, always served at the right temperature, sanitary and economical. Breastfeeding provides health benefits to the nursing mother, such as decreasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and helping mom return to her pre-pregnancy weight. Breast milk is also custom made to meet the changing nutritional requirements of the growing baby.

PNHR is excited to be launching a new poster campaign across the Region in support of World Breastfeeding Week and to promote breastfeeding throughout the year. These posters show Saskatchewan mothers from different backgrounds breastfeeding in a variety of locations.

World Breastfeeding Week is the perfect time to inform mothers, family members, friends, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors, and the media as to how they can actively support breastfeeding. The week serves to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as the optimal method of infant feeding, and emphasizes that breastfeeding provides benefits for mother and baby.

For more information about World Breastfeeding Week or for breastfeeding help, contact:

· Meadow Lake Lactation Consultant at 306-236-1570
· North Battleford Lactation Support at 306-446-8632
· Lloydminster Lactation Consultant, at 306-820-6225
· Public Health Nutritionist at 306-446-6415

For a printable version of the news release, click here.


For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Linda Lewis, PNHR Communications Officer Office: 306-446-6625 Cell: 306-441-4248

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