Healthy Living in the North

World Breastfeeding Week 2017

Happy World Breastfeeding Week, a time celebrated annually by Canada from October 1-7. First celebrated in 1992 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), World Breastfeeding Week is now observed annually in over 120 countries by UNICEF (United Nations Childrens’ Fund), WHO (World Health Organization), and their partners including individuals, organizations, and governments.

mother holding baby

October 1-7th is world breastfeeding week

This year’s theme is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.”

When they’re pregnant, most women state they wish to breastfeed their babies. Over 90% of babies born in B.C. receive breastmilk after delivery, but some mothers may experience difficulties maintaining or continuing to breastfeed. All members of our society can help women by protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding. Here are some ways you can get involved!

Protect Breastfeeding

When breastfeeding is protected in our society, we help women feel more empowered.

  • Use community supports to help normalize breastfeeding such as healthcare providers, doulas, peer support groups, La Leche League, and pregnancy outreach programs.
  • Protect breastfeeding mothers and infants/children from discrimination and harassment.
  • The right to breastfeed is a human right in British Columbia.

Promote Breastfeeding

Good information about breastfeeding can be found on the web. Here are some ideas to help promote breastfeeding:

Support Breastfeeding

Women are more confident and empowered when they feel supported by those around them.
How can you help? If you know a breastfeeding mother you can:

  • Be a supportive husband, partner, family member or friend.
  • Do household tasks.
  • Help with childcare if there are older children.
  • Provide empathy and understanding; a listening ear can be very helpful and validating.
  • Help her find supportive assistance if she’s having difficulties. Consider healthcare providers such as lactation consultants, nurses, midwives, physicians, other health professionals, or trained peers or lay persons.  You can also connect with doulas, peer support groups and community networks such as La Leche League Canada and other community programs such as Pregnancy Outreach Programs.
  • Look at the poster from Perinatal Services BC.


Follow along this week on the Northern Health Matters blog as we share a new blog post related to the awareness, promotion, and celebration of breastfeeding every day!

More world breastfeeding week information:

Jeanne Hagreen

About Jeanne Hagreen

Jeanne has been a Lactation Consultant since 1993. She worked for Northern Health for 38 years, first as a nurse on the Maternal-Child Units, then 20.5 years as a Lactation Consultant. During this time, she also returned to school and earned her BSN from UNBC. Following her retirement at the end of September 2015, Jeanne has remained an active member of local, regional & provincial perinatal committees. She is also co-president of the BC Lactation Consultant Association. Jeanne was born in Whitehorse, Yukon and also lived in Campbell River, Victoria, Toronto and Vancouver. In 1975, she moved to Prince George with her husband and two small sons. In addition to her volunteer work, she is an avid knitter and reader. She enjoys living in the rural community of Salmon Valley with a small menagerie of animals, along with the wildlife that passes through her yard.



  1. […] week on the Northern Health Matters blog we have been celebrating Breastfeeding Week in Canada, with the theme: Sustaining Breastfeeding Together. I appreciate this theme because it […]