Manitoba Expands Newborn Hearing Screening Program

Another great announcement from the province: Manitoba has committed to expand its newborn hearing screening program into a universal program with teams in every regional health authority.

From the press release:

“Every family deserves access to the screening and supports they need to give their baby the best chance for a healthy start,” said Minister Blady.  “This expanded program will help ensure no child with congenital hearing loss falls through the cracks.”

The minister noted the quick diagnosis and treatment of children with hearing loss can be key in helping them develop cognitive, speech-processing and learning skills, adding the biggest gains are made if hearing loss is detected and diagnosed before a baby is three months old.

The supporting legislation will come into effect September 1, 2016.

2nd Baby-Friendly Healthcare Facility Named in Manitoba!

What a great way to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week in Canada: with the news that a second healthcare facility in our province has earned the Baby-Friendly Initiative designation: The Pas Primary Health Centre! Read more about it on MyToba: Northern breastfeeding program honoured.

This Baby-Friendly designation, created by the World Health Organization and Unicef, has “increased breastfeeding rates, reduced complications for mothers and babies, and improved mothers’ health-care experiences globally” since its introduction in 1991.

Earning the Baby-Friendly designation is not an easy task and only the most committed organizations meet the requirements. According to Breastfeeding Canada, as of late 2013 there were 19 facilities with that designation in Canada; almost all in Ontario.

Two facilities (the other is Bethesda Health Centre in Steinbach) in our province is a fantastic start, but we still have a long way to go. Luckily, part of the 2013 Provincial Breastfeeding Strategy is the goal to reach, by 2018, “Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation in 75% of all Manitoba birthing hospitals/centres that have more than 100 births/year and 75% of all provincial community public health offices.” I hope we’re on track to meet that goal.

Congratulations to all those who worked hard for this! Manitobans will benefit enormously from the support and education.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week in Canada | Breastfeeding Help in Winnipeg

Did you know that October 1-7, 2015 is World Breastfeeding Week in Canada? (Other countries celebrate in August). On this occasion I wanted to share some helpful breastfeeding resources that are available to Winnipeg mamas:

  • Want to meet other breastfeeding moms, get help and information, and enjoy others’ company? Check out a La Leche League meeting or attending a drop-in breastfeeding support group at one of many locations across the city.
  • Need help with a breastfeeding problem? Get one-on-one support at an individual consultation or call the WRHA’s 24/7 breastfeeding hotline at 204-788-8667.
  • Looking for breast pumps, pump parts, or herbs to increase your milk supply? I’ve listed some places to check here.

Get more info and ideas here on the Pregnancy Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support page. Happy breastfeeding!