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Moms and Babies to Benefit From New Breastfeeding Supports

News Release

Moms and Babies to Benefit From New Breastfeeding Supports

Ontario Government Helping Babies Get Healthy Start

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario newborns and their families will soon benefit from enhanced breastfeeding supports, helping ensure that every woman who wants breastfeeding support can get it.

Breastfeeding helps to encourage healthy development and can reduce the likelihood of overweight and obesity in adolescence and adulthood. As part of Ontario's Healthy Kids Strategy, the government is investing more than $2.5 million to help families give their infants a sound nutritional start by:

  • Providing 24-hour telephone access to expert support for mothers who are breastfeeding. 
  • Supporting Ontario's hospitals and community health care organizations with training, tools, guidance and resources to help them achieve the World Health Organization's Baby-Friendly Initiative designation and adopt clinical best practices in infant feeding that meet Baby-Friendly Initiative designation requirements.
  • Targeted support for mothers in population groups that have lower rates of breastfeeding.
  • Providing new resources to support breastfeeding through Best Start: Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre.

These initiatives fulfill recommendations made by the Healthy Kids Panel.

Giving Ontario's children the healthiest start in life helps deliver on our Action Plan for Health Care to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This is part of the Ontario government's economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • In Ontario, approximately 90 per cent of mothers want to breastfeed, but only 60 per cent do so when they leave the hospital after giving birth. By six months, only 28 per cent are breastfeeding.
  • The benefits of breastfeeding include improved cognitive development and reduced incidence of illness during infancy, childhood and later in life.
  • For each month a baby is breastfed until the eight month, the risk of obesity is reduced by four per cent — resulting in a reduced risk of obesity of 32 per cent overall when a baby is breastfed for the first eight months.

Background Information

Additional Resources


Deb Matthews

“We’re helping moms to breastfeed with round-the-clock telephone support and expert help from hospitals and community health providers. Breastfeeding promotes closeness between mom and baby, helps protect against illness, and sets babies on the path to leading healthy lives right from the start.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Experts tell us that the first few years of our lives have a major impact on our health as adolescents, teenagers and in adult life. This investment will help mothers who want to breastfeed and create more Baby-Friendly Initiative certified places where they can go to get answers and supports that are critical to raising healthy children.”

Teresa Piruzza

Minister of Children and Youth Services

“Breastfeeding should almost always work. Almost all breastfeeding problems are preventable and if they are not prevented, they can be fixed. Unfortunately in Ontario today, mothers have significant difficulties with breastfeeding because they cannot get the best start from day one and they cannot always find help when they need it. The initiatives the Ontario government is announcing today will help moms get the support they need to breastfeed successfully.”

Dr. Jack Newman

International Breastfeeding Centre and Newman Breastfeeding Clinic

“Though breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned behaviour and two must learn. Here in Ontario there hasn't been enough knowledgeable help for learning mothers and babies up until now. I am hopeful with these new initiatives announced today that we will see a vast improvement in the support mothers receive to achieve their breastfeeding goals.”

Edith Kernerman

International Breastfeeding Centre, Newman Breastfeeding Clinic, Centre for Breastfeeding Education and Ontario Lactation Consultants Association

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness