QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Health Promotion Critic and Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, today launched a report calling on the McGuinty government to implement a province-wide breastfeeding strategy.
“Breast is best, and health promotion starts with your first meal,” Gélinas said. “For a lot of new moms, breastfeeding is a painful and difficult time. Moms who make this choice deserve support.”
The report entitled, “Recommendations for a Provincial Breastfeeding Strategy” was authored by a number of health stakeholders including the Ontario Breastfeeding Committee, the Registered Nurses’ Association, the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic, Toronto Public Health, midwives, hospitals, pediatricians and the list goes on. The report outlines the necessary steps we need to take in order to support breastfeeding mothers and their babies, from pregnancy, to birth and beyond.
“Breastfeeding is a building block of lifelong health for our youngest Ontarians, yet women do not have adequate support in order to successfully breastfeed,” Gélinas said. “Without a provincial strategy, health care institutions are unable to set the World Health’s Organization’s international standard of care as new mothers continue to struggle to breastfeed across the province.”
Although Gélinas has already raised this issue in the House eight times, the government has been reluctant to address this issue and create a province-wide breast feeding strategy.
“The reality is that in Ontario there is a patchwork of services that may or may not be covered by OHIP, while new mothers are being pushed to use baby formula. We need to ensure that breastfeeding programs and services are publicly-funded and easily accessible to new moms and newborns who need the support,” said Gélinas