Kits are being distributed in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, Oct. 1 to 7. According to a press release, the kit includes resources for additional information about the use of medications while breastfeeding; contact numbers for community breastfeeding support; a handout on questions pharmacists might be asked; as well as ‘Medications and Mothers’ Milk 2012,’ a comprehensive manual on lactational pharmacology used widely in Canada and the United States.
The LQBFI Committee bought the book to make sure pharmacists have the most up-to-date information about which medications are compatible with breastfeeding, says the press release.
The LQBFI is a community committee “providing leadership for the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and the implementation of the Nova Scotia Provincial Breastfeeding Policy,” in Queens and Lunenburg Counties. The committee works with community partners to create communities where breastfeeding is the norm for infant feeding.
The LQBFI has 89 partners in its Make Breastfeeding Your Business program, an initiative with businesses, governments and organizations to provide breastfeeding families with support.
“We kind of just grab something and go with it,” says Natalie McMaster, member of the LQBFI committee.
McMaster is also the La Leche League Canada-Lunenburg leader, and a La Leche League is mother-to-mother breastfeeding support.
The LQBFI committee includes public-health workers, La Leche League leaders, mothers from the community, midwives and Diane Warner, the facilitator of the Child Help Initiative Program (CHIP) with the Native Council of Nova Scotia.
“We try to get as many people involved as possible,” says McMaster.
The press release says, “Health Canada recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives and that breastfeeding continue, after family foods are introduced, for up to two years of age and beyond.”
“Community support for breastfeeding mothers reduces barriers that may influence a woman’s decision to begin and/or continue nursing her baby.”
Linda Wieser, chair of the LQBFI, says pharmacists are an important resource in communities. She says many families embrace breastfeeding’s health benefits, but some are deterred.
“Community support can be a strong component of helping mothers to overcome these barriers,” says Wieser.