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.