anet Murphy Goodridge, Breastfeeding Coordinator of Healthy Baby Clubs (HBC) of Newfoundland and Labrador, told INFACT, "there are nine Healthy Baby Club projects in the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program. In addition to providing food and vitamin supplements, nutrition counselling and healthy lifestyle support, breastfeeding promotion and support is a core component of the projects." She continues, "It has been very encouraging to see the tremendous interest and enthusiasm for breastfeeding in the communities where bottle feeding has been the norm. Breastfeeding rates are increasing in all of the projects. In one community, Gander Bay, the breastfeeding rates have increased from 4 to 67 per cent!
"Several women who have made a decision to bottle feed at the outset have changed their mind throughout their participation in the HBC. The emphasis is not on overwhelming the women with breastfeeding information, but on helping them to identify and work through the many perceived barriers to breastfeeding in their communities.
"The HBCs are now exploring strategies to ensure that once women have chosen to breastfeed that they have the support in the early weeks when so many women discontinue breastfeeding prematurely.
"...it is unfortunate that the formula companies continue to play such an aggressive role in rural communities. Physicians are receiving the Canadian Paediatric Society sanctioned Mead Johnson Peter Rabbit bags with freebies of formula and gifts and the Ross videos. ..Breastfeeding mothers are being heavily targeted in their homes, often receiving several formula tins.
"One woman in Meadows, Newfoundland, a small community on the west coast, told me she had received 15 cans of formula in the mail. She has been breastfeeding for six months."
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