Funding will support programs for mothers from groups with lower breastfeeding rates
May 8, TORONTO – The Best Start Resource Centre, a program of Health Nexus, announced the recipients for the first round of the breastfeeding community project grants. Grants were awarded to 15 community projects to develop and implement supports to encourage and assist populations with lower breastfeeding rates.
“As long-time champions for breastfeeding we applaud the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on their commitment to breastfeeding and ensuring strong community supports are available. The funded projects will implement key strategies to enhance breastfeeding across the province,” says Barb Willet, Executive Director of Health Nexus. “We are pleased to coordinate this initiative and support organizations that will increase access to breastfeeding information and services in communities with lower breastfeeding rates.”
Breastfeeding is known to positively influence healthy weights in children. Each additional month that an infant is breastfed, up to eight months of age, reduces the risk of being obese later in life by four per cent. According to the 2013 Canadian Consumer Healthy Survey, only 25 per cent of women breastfeed exclusively for six months. The current recommendation supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada among others, is six months of exclusive breastfeeding followed by breastfeeding for two years or longer, with the introduction of other healthy foods.
As outlined in the Best Start Resource Centre backgrounder on Populations with Lower Rates of Breastfeeding, populations with lower rates of breastfeeding include but are not limited to women who have lower socio-economic status, lower education, are single, are Aboriginal or have a poor social support network.
“The funded organizations know where and how to reach the groups of women who are more likely to experience barriers to breastfeeding. Their programs will be another important step in helping to ensure that young Ontarians get a healthy start,” says Wendy McAllister, Manager of the Best Start Resource Centre at Health Nexus.
Community project grants announced in March 2014 were awarded to:
- Adolescent’s Family Support Services of Niagara
- Anishnawbe Mushkiki Aboriginal Health Access Center
- Carlington Community Health Centre
- Guelph Community Health Centre
- Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre
- La Leche League Canada
- M’Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre
- Noojmowin Teg Health Centre
- North Lambton Community Health Centre
- Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
- St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation
- Trillium Health Partners Foundation
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology
- Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
- University of Windsor
To learn more about these community projects visit: www.beststart.org/projects.
About Health Nexus
Health Nexus is a leader in health promotion, a bilingual organization that supports individuals, organizations and communities to strengthen their capacity to promote health. Their broad approach to health includes health equity, chronic disease prevention and early child development. Over the last 25 years they have been supporting health services workers and health promotion organizations to develop and implement strategies to improve the health of their communities. Their services include consultations, training events and a large collection of resources available in up to 8 languages.
About the Best Start Resource Centre
The Best Start Resource Centre is Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre. The Best Start Resource Centre supports service providers across Ontario working to implement preconception, prenatal and child health promotion programs and initiatives. In addition to their large collection of resources on 18 topics, Best Start provides training, consultation, networking and referrals. The Resource Centre also develops and leads social awareness campaigns to enhance the health of expectant and new parents, newborns and young children.
Wendy McAllister, Manager, Best Start Resource Centre