Author(s): Stephanie George, Six Nations Maternal and Child Health; Yolande Lawson, Health Nexus/Best Start Resource Centre/BFI Strategy for Ontario
SummaryIn traditional indigenous culture, women breastfed their babies as it was the natural way of feeding babies. Breastfeeding was thought to nourish, protect, guide, comfort, and ensure a strong bond between infant and mother. Breastfeeding improves physical and emotional health for both mother and infant and has health benefits for infants, mothers and society. Breastfeeding rates are lower among indigenous women in Canada. Important progress has been made in Ontario in the last few years to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration through the work of the Baby-Friendly Initiative Strategy for Ontario. Working with the assistance of indigenous advisors, one of the priorities is to reach indigenous organizations in order to help them support breastfeeding in their communities.