ᐋ ᓅᔖᓂᐦᐋᐅᓱᓈᓅᒡ

mother and child

Name of program or initiative:

Cree name: Â Nûshânihâusunânûch

English name : Breastfeeding Program – Implementation of the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI)

French name: L’implantation de l’Initiative Amis des bébés (IAB)

Program objectives

  1. Increase the rates of breastfeeding according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization:
  2. Exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age;
  3. Continued breastfeeding with added complementary foods up to 2 years of age and beyond.

Why this program?

Breastfeeding offers numerous benefits for babies and mothers. These benefits follow individuals throughout their life. Some of the benefits conferred by breastfeeding are especially important in Eeyou Istchee. Breastfeeding offers protection against obesity, diabetes, respiratory infections, otitis media (ear infections), dental cavities, vitamin deficiencies, inflammatory diseases, mental illnesses, some types of cancer and many, many more. It is thus important to raise breastfeeding rates throughout Eeyou Istchee.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative is a strategy that has been proven to increase both breastfeeding rates and clients’ satisfaction with the health care they receive. Quebec’s Public Health Program requires all regions to implement the Initiative in their health care facilities by 2012. BFI is also recognized in the Quebec policy Politique de périnatalité 2008-2018.

Short description of program

The program carries out health-promotion activities to inform people about the benefits of breastfeeding and counter some common misconceptions (such as the belief that artificial baby milk is equivalent to breast milk). It also provides numerous kinds of support for breastfeeding mothers.

Promotion activities include:

  • Implementing the Baby-Friendly Initiative in all health care facilities. This ten-step strategy calls for health departments to do things like train their workers on breastfeeding, integrate breastfeeding information into prenatal care, and develop breastfeeding support groups;
  • Carrying out activities during Breastfeeding Week (booths, open-line radio shows, get-togethers for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers);
  • Maintaining an internet blog ( and a presence on Facebook and Twitter;
  • Providing training and tools for prenatal health workers;
  • Fostering the creation of breastfeeding support groups.
  • Activities to support breastfeeding include:
  • Implementation of the Baby-Friendly Initiative;
  • A breastfeeding blog (;
  • Training and tools for the health care workers who provide postnatal care;
  • Training and support for the leaders of the Breastfeeding Support Groups.

Targeted clientele

Pregnant women, mothers with babies and young children and their families.

Who delivers the program?

The Breastfeeding program is part of the Awash Miyupimaatisiiun activities, and is partly funded by the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP). It is coordinated by: