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Breastfeeding Services and Supports

In 2009, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care requested that the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health establish an expert panel (the Breastfeeding Services and Supports Work Group) tasked with providing cost-effective recommendations and options to support the delivery of breastfeeding supports and services in Ontario with a focus on improving breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity rates. The Work Group, consisting of breastfeeding experts from across the province and a variety of disciplines, commenced their deliberations in November 2009.

As part of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Strategy, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is investing more than $2.5 million to help families give their infants a sound nutritional start.  The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) Implementation Strategy is one such investment and is aimed at enhancing breastfeeding in Ontario. The Strategy will provide both community health organizations (Community Health Centres, Family Health Teams, Aboriginal Health Centres) and hospitals with training, tools, guidance and educational resources to help achieve the World Health Organization’s BFI designation and adopt best practices that meet BFI requirements.

To learn more visit the Baby-Friendly Initiative Ontario website.

Work Group Terms of Reference (PDF)

Work Group Membership (PDF)


Breastfeeding Committees: Goals and Responsibilities

Breastfeeding Committees: Goals and Responsibilities.

Breastfeeding Placemat

This placemat was developed in order to provide important information about breastfeeding to decision makers across the health care system. The placemat provides a brief overview of why breastfeeding is important, what the issues are, supporting evidence and how working towards implementation of the BFI can increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates.

Breastfeeding Policy Template for Community Organizations

This Breastfeeding Policy template for community organizations is based on the standards for maternity services as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Health Canada, the Canadian Family‐Centered Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines (2000) and the RNAO Breastfeeding Best Practice Guidelines for Nurses (2007).

Work Group Recommendations Regarding Practice Standards for Direct Services

The recommendations regarding practice standards for direct services are outlined along with links to resources developed to help hospitals and community organizations in their efforts to achieve the recommendations. Many of the resources can be customized to fit the needs of a specific organization.