Tuesday, July 16, 2013
FHA sets precedent with dedicated breastfeeding Baby Initiative RN
Released by Donna Dixson, CHHFC/Voice file photo
raser Health is the first health authority in B.C. to hire a full time Registered Nurse for the Baby Friendly Initiative.
Sidney Harper, who has been been working with mothers and babies over most of her thirty year nursing career, has accepted the permanent full time role and is excited to share her passion for the importance of breastfeeding.
“Most women want to breastfeed, but some may encounter difficulties that make them quit prematurely. Health Care Providers, and all members of the community, play a critical role in influencing and supporting women to meet their own breastfeeding goals. The Baby Friendly Initiative, a World Health Organization program, recommends breastfeeding [exclusively] for six months. With nutritious table foods added to the child’s diet at around six months, breastfeeding should be continued to two years and beyond. Research clearly shows that exclusive and long-term breastfeeding impacts many childhood and adult chronic illnesses. Fraser Health is committed to improving breastfeeding exclusivity and duration rates.” Sidney Harper explains.
A baby friendly community protects, promotes, and supports the breastfeeding baby and mother. A community that embraces Baby Friendly keeps mothers and babies together, helping them to breastfeed anytime, anywhere. For those women who have breastfeeding issues, the community will support the child to receive as much breast milk as possible for as long as possible.
Not breastfeeding costs the community of Chilliwack. It causes an increased demand on resources through extra trips to the doctor and the cost of formula, bottles and nipples, and it creates more garbage. Not breastfeeding can result in time away from work and the loss of wages. Breastfeeding helps keep people out of our doctors’ offices and hospitals, saving health care dollars.
“Our community wishes for all children to be healthy, to develop well and to reduce their risk of serious chronic disease. Breastfeeding protects babies against obesity as well as ear infections, gut infections, lung infections, SIDS, asthma, allergies, childhood cancers, and diabetes. Improving the health and wellbeing of our community is CHHCF’s top priority and we proudly support the Baby Friendly Initiative,” says Donna Dixson, Director of Community Relations for the Chilliwack Hospital & Health Care Foundation.
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