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World Breastfeeding Week at Jewish General Hospital


The Jewish General Hospital celebrates World Breastfeeding Week 2013

Some new mothers may not realize that they already carry the cheapest and most effective life-saver – breast milk. In fact, if every infant was given only breast milk for the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding up to two years, the lives of over 200,000 children would be saved globally each year. The Jewish General Hospital (JGH) is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (October 1-7) by making valuable information available to the public about the importance of breastfeeding.

While many babies breastfeed effectively from the start, some new mothers may encounter difficulties at the beginning – from nipple pain, to a fear that they do not have enough milk, to negative attitudes of the mother’s closest support network – which pose barriers to mothers who wish to successfully breastfeed. This is the reason why the theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, highlighting the importance of providing education and support to breastfeeding mothers and their families to initiate and maintain optimal breastfeeding practices.

As part of its awareness campaign, the JGH Multidisciplinary Breastfeeding Committee – including members from Pediatrics, Midwifery, Nursing, Obstetrics, and Family Medicine – has organized a public education campaign to promote and support the choice to breastfeed. The campaign includes a “breastfeeding education brigade” that will tour various units in the hospital to educate staff and patients on the issue. In addition, the committee will also be posting information on the hospital’s multimedia screens and will set up a public education kiosk to distribute pamphlets offering guidance on breastfeeding and benefits to baby, mom, and partner.

“In supporting World Breastfeeding Week the JGH is joining an international celebration that helps to normalize breastfeeding, making it more acceptable to do anytime and anywhere,” says Irene Sarasua, a JGH Clinical Nurse Specialist in Maternal-Child Health and Co-Chair of the JGH Multidisciplinary Breastfeeding Committee. “The vast majority of our patients intend to breastfeed their infant, and it is our job at the hospital to help them have a positive and successful experience for the long-term health of mother and baby.”

To further promote breastfeeding the JGH will also be participating in the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge. Every year, on the first Saturday of October at 11:00 am mothers and children at sites across Canada, the United States and other countries around the world compete to set the record for the most children breastfeeding at one time. This global event encourages community discussion of issues related to breastfeeding, and provides support for breastfeeding women and their families.

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