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St. John's council's resolution to Municipalities NL promotes breastfeeding-friendly communities

Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary was joined by members of the Baby-Friendly Council of Newfoundland and Labrador at the regular Monday council meeting. Pictured from left to right: Lisa Roberts, regional lactation consultant with Eastern Health; Tracy English, regional nutritionist with Eastern Health; Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary; Brenda Oldford, regional manager of the Perinatal Program of Newfoundland and Labrador; Jennifer Stamp, regional nutritionist with Eastern Health.
Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary was joined by members of the Baby-Friendly Council of Newfoundland and Labrador at the regular Monday council meeting. Pictured from left to right: Lisa Roberts, regional lactation consultant with Eastern Health; Tracy English, regional nutritionist with Eastern Health; Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary; Brenda Oldford, regional manager of the Perinatal Program of Newfoundland and Labrador; Jennifer Stamp, regional nutritionist with Eastern Health. - Juanita Mercer
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary proposed a resolution to Municipalities NL (MNL) to encourage breastfeeding-friendly communities at the regular meeting of city council on Monday.

“Municipalities can create an environment that supports breastfeeding families by making the municipality a ‘Breastfeeding-Friendly Community’ by removing barriers around breastfeeding in public spaces where families feel welcome to breastfeed any time, anywhere,” said O’Leary.

Council unanimously approved the resolution that MNL work with the Baby-Friendly Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and health-sector partners to promote the adoption of breastfeeding-friendly community practices. 

The resolution will be voted on at the annual general meeting of MNL and, if approved, will become a mandate for MNL to continue to promote. 

O’Leary was joined in the gallery by members of the Baby-Friendly Council.

Brenda Oldford, regional manager of the Perinatal Program of Newfoundland and Labrador, said the province always had a breastfeeding culture, but that was replaced in the 1970s with a formula-feeding culture.

She said by the late 1980s the breastfeeding rate was in the high 30 per cents, while this year it’s 71.9 per cent. 

Oldford said the Baby-Friendly Council promotes that breastfeeding occur exclusively for the first six months, and then two years and beyond with supplemental food. 

“All families should have a choice in how they feed their infants, and an infant feeding choice should be informed,” said Oldford.

“In Newfoundland and Labrador, some of that information now with our past generations carries through that formula is an equal substance to feed your infant with as breast milk. However, we all know that breast milk is a living substance, changes as a baby grows, and the mother is actually able to produce antibodies that the baby needs during breastfeeding, and breastfeeding is actually a superior substance to (feed) with.

“However, we all know that in our lives there are people that either cannot or choose not to breastfeed, and all families need to feel supported in that and how to safely feed their infants.”

Twitter: @juanitamercer_


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