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Infant Feeding


As a public health unit with Baby-Friendly Initiative designation, SMDHU collaborates with other agencies to meet the needs of parents and work to provide consistent quality care and the promotion of breastfeeding and infant feeding best practices. In 2017, SMDHU achieved designation as a Baby-Friendly Initiative Community Health Organization from the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada, joining 27 other Ontario public health units that have reached this milestone. Achieving BFI designation requires entrenching BFI philosophy in health unit policy, building staff knowledge and practice, ensuring public spaces are breastfeeding-friendly, as well as outreach and advocacy for supportive policy for the public and in private agencies and businesses.1

To support breastfeeding and infant feeding best practices in the community SMDHU:

4.  Collaborates with regional and local community partners to address issues related to infant feeding through participation on a variety of coalitions and committee.

5.  Works with hospital partners to provide BFI and infant feeding education to health care providers, including:

        • This course increases health care providers’ knowledge about breastfeeding and the Baby-Friendly Initiative. Participants of the course will obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to assist parents in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.
        • From 2014 to 2018, 230 health care providers from across our region completed this training.
  • Works with community partners to provide education to staff and volunteers of organizations who support prenatal and postnatal parents.

6.  Collaborates with the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Programs throughout Simcoe and Muskoka.

7.  SMDHU conducts annual infant feeding surveillance.

  • Local infant feeding surveillance data is available on SMDHU’s HealthSTATS website.

8.  SMDHU provides infant feeding programs, services and resources.

  • Prenatal Education (in-person classes and online classes available)
  • Community-based breastfeeding support groups
  • One-on-one education, counselling and encouragement through phone or online contact with a Health Connection nurse

  • To clients participating in the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program through completion of a prenatal/postnatal HBHC screen
  1. 1.  Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Health@SimcoeMuskoka: Annual Community Report, 2017-2018. 2018. Barrie, ON. Available from:

Maternal & Child section of Health Professional Portal button

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