Baby Friendly Initiative

The Baby Friendly Program is an award-winning initiative which offers breastfeeding knowledge and support for all pregnant women and their families. The team includes Maternal Child Health Nurse, Family Support Workers, and Baby Friendly Coordinator. Introduction to the Baby Friendly team and peer support mothers is made during the pre-natal visits (classes). Referrals to Baby Friendly can be made by any of the MCH Team or other health staff. The program offers various information sessions throughout the year that highlight the many benefits of breastfeeding.

Our breastfeeding initiation rates continue to be outstanding and mothers feel supported in their decision to initiate and continue breastfeeding. The average duration for mothers breastfeeding 12 to 18 months in 2014-16 was 51% compared to 36% in 2011-13! Kanesatake continues to strengthen its breastfeeding culture. This is encouraging as KHC approaches its 5-year re-assessment in Fall 2018 for the WHO Baby Friendly Initiative re-accreditation.

KHC participated in the annual WABA World Breastfeeding week with interoffice activities to promote and educate staff regarding breastfeeding. Three informative breastfeeding articles were written in Karihwi:ios, The KHC community publication.

2017/18 saw the completion and publication of Laying the Foundation for a Healthy Community - An Intergenerational Breastfeeding Support Guide and Tool Kit. A 2 & 1/2 day Train the Trainer event was given by the Kanesatake BFI team to 50 workers (including nurses, dieticians, family support workers) representing 20 First Nations communities from Quebec and Labrador. The Health Canada representatives that attended gave high praise for the Guide and Kits that they helped to fund and offered to support us in its dissemination to other First Nations communities in Canada.

This year due to the high percentage of numbers of mothers who had previously attended Intergenerational Breastfeeding Support Gatherings, an Intergenerational Siblings Class was developed and offered for the first time. In addition to preparing older siblings for the changes a new baby brings, an emphasis continued to be on the importance of the support of the extended family and friends in the transition after birth.

To obtain more information on the Baby Friendly Initiative contact: Karen Macinnes, MCH Nurse at (450) 479-6000 Ext: 237.