Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, September 30, 2013 – Ontario Government Helping Babies Get Healthy Start: Ontario newborns and their families will soon benefit from enhanced breastfeeding supports, helping ensure that every woman who wants breastfeeding support can get it.
Breastfeeding helps to encourage healthy development and can reduce the likelihood of overweight and obesity in adolescence and adulthood. As part of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Strategy, the government is investing more than $2.5 million to help families give their infants a sound nutritional start by:
- Providing 24-hour telephone access to expert support for mothers who are breastfeeding.
- Supporting Ontario’s hospitals and community health care organizations with training, tools, guidance and resources to help them achieve the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly Initiative designation and adopt clinical best practices in infant feeding that meet Baby-Friendly Initiative designation requirements.
- Targeted support for mothers in population groups that have lower rates of breastfeeding.
- Providing new resources to support breastfeeding through Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre.
These initiatives fulfill recommendations made by the Healthy Kids Panel.
Giving Ontario’s children the healthiest start in life helps deliver on our Action Plan for Health Care to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.
- In Ontario, approximately 90 per cent of mothers want to breastfeed, but only 60 per cent do so when they leave the hospital after giving birth. By six months, only 28 per cent are breastfeeding.
- The benefits of breastfeeding include improved cognitive development and reduced incidence of illness during infancy, childhood and later in life.
- For each month a baby is breastfed until the eight month, the risk of obesity is reduced by four per cent — resulting in a reduced risk of obesity of 32 per cent overall when a baby is breastfed for the first eight months.