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Tuesday, June 26, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. | Windsor-Essex County

The World Health Organization recommends women breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue breastfeeding to two years or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as receiving only breast milk without introduction of solids, infant formula, or water. Shortly after birth, Windsor-Essex breastfeeding rates are similar to the Ontario average.  Eighty-nine percent of women in the area initiate breastfeeding.

Amanda Ellard-Ryall, Manager of the Healthy Families Department at the Health Unit, notes that the local exclusive breastfeeding rates are cut in half by two months post-partum (31%) and drop off significantly between 4 months (26%) and 6 months (8%).

Ellard-Ryall states, “Over the next year, the Health Unit will be meeting with communities with lower breastfeeding rates to better understand the barriers to breastfeeding and will work with community partners to help address these barriers”.

While the Health Unit will be focusing on increasing breastfeeding rates over the next five years, Ellard-Ryall wants to assure the community that the Health Unit continues to support all parents, stating “Even though the Health Unit strives for exclusive breast feeding for the first six months, we support every parent regardless of how they choose to nourish their infant. We are prepared and willing to support them every step of the way”.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit currently offers the following breastfeeding supports:

  • Well Baby Clinics: One-on-one, in-person breastfeeding support from a Registered Nurse offered at several locations throughout Windsor-Essex.
  • Lactation Consultant Appointments: Specialized, in-person breastfeeding support offered at Windsor, Leamington, and Essex Health Unit offices.
  • Pre-natal Breastfeeding Classes: Registered Nurse-led class offered each month on a Wednesday 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Healthy Families Hotline: Over-the-phone support from a Registered Nurse or Lactation Consultant. Available Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm.

For more information about these services, contact the Health Unit Healthy Families Hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 1350

Media Contact
Communications Department
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (news)

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