HKPR District Health Unit Utilizes Baby-Friendly Initiative to Empower Parents
The health unit is making an impact on local families through a new designation.
Port Hope, ON (October 1, 2023) - The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is proud to support the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) as a designated organization to empower parents and promote optimal infant feeding practices.
The BFI, established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), aims to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding while supporting informed decision-making around infant feeding for all families.
“Being a BFI-designated organization dedicates commitment to improving maternal and infant health while promoting evidence-based policies and practices,” said Dorothea Service, Manager, Healthy Families, HKPR District Health Unit.
The BFI encompasses 10 evidence-based steps to promote infant and family health, focusing on creating a supportive environment for families and infants. This includes providing education and resources, encouraging skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, and delivering breastfeeding and informed decision-making support from skilled staff. The initiative emphasizes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with the introduction of solids at six months while continuing to breastfeed for two years and beyond. Hospitals, birthing centres, and community organizations that meet the stringent standards outlined in the BFI are designated as "Baby-Friendly”.
The HKPR District Health Unit is making a significant impact on local families through its Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) Program, Nurse Family Partnership Program (NFP), and Feeding Nutrition and Support Clinics offered at the Health Unit office locations in Port Hope, Lindsay, and in Haliburton. Individuals can access one on one breastfeeding support, counselling on making informed infant feeding decisions, as well as receive nutrition counselling from a Public Health Nurse and/or Registered Dietitian. To book an appointment please visit hkpr.on.ca/HBHC or call 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5003.
“One of the key aspects of the BFI is encouraging informed decision-making, ensuring that families can choose how to feed their babies based on accurate information and support,” said Pam Stuckless, Director, of Health Promotion, HKPR District Health Unit.
By advocating for best practices and empowering parents to make informed decisions about infant feeding, the BFI ensures that babies receive the nutrition they need while mothers and their families receive the support necessary to thrive. The HKPR District Health Unit remains committed to the Baby-Friendly Initiative. The empowerment of parents and the health and well-being of infants are at the forefront of these efforts.
For more information about the HKPR District Health Unit and its commitment to the Baby-Friendly Initiative, please visit hkpr.on.ca/BFI or call the Healthy Families Information and Support Line at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5003.
Dorothea Service, Healthy Families Manager, HKPR District Health Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-866-888-4577 x 2227 or Amanda Bray, Communications Officer, HKPR District Health Unit, email@example.com, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1266
About the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit provides important public health programs and services to residents in Northumberland County, Haliburton County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Our dedicated team of public health professionals, led by our Medical Officer of Health, promote healthy living, protect against disease, and prevent illness and injury. We work with health care providers and community partners to address emerging health issues, service gaps and social inequities to support residents in being well and reaching their full potential. Our values of trust, engagement, accountability, and leadership guide what we do every day. Learn more at www.hkpr.on.ca.