Exclusively for three monthsExclusively for six monthsExclusively for nine monthsExclusively for twelve months
Exclusively for six months
The World Health Organization recommends a mother breastfeed her child exclusively with breast milk for six months. After six months, a woman can continue breastfeeding (along with solid foods) until the child is one or two years of age.
50 000 lives200 000 lives800 000 lives2 000 000 lives
800 000 lives
The World Health Organization estimates that 800 000 lives could be saved every year if mothers breastfed for six months exclusively, and continued breastfeeding until age two.
In 2012, unfortunately only 24% of mothers breastfed exclusively for six months. This is a shocking drop from the 90% of mothers who begin breastfeeding.
BC has the highest breastfeeding rates in the country, with 41% of mothers breastfeeding exclusively for six months. The other regions are much lower with Ontario at 25%, Quebec at 19%, and the prairies at 29%.
Going back to workBaby being ready for solidsDifficulty with breastfeeding techniqueNot being able to go out in public easily
Difficulty with breastfeeding technique
Statistics Canada found that "The most common reasons cited for stopping breastfeeding before six months were “not enough breast milk” and “difficulty with breastfeeding technique” in 2011–2012."
There are currently only two lactation specialists on PEI, one in Summerside and one in Charlottetown. The wait time for one of these specialists is often so long mothers resort to bottle feeding to keep their baby fed. A third lactation specialist is set to start on PEI in April 2017.
Because of groups like the World Health Organization and the United Nations, mothers in Rwanda are highly educated about the benefits of breastfeeding, and there are even economic incentives given to women who breastfeed their babies. Rwanda's breastfeeding rate at six months is 90%, far higher than any province in Canada.
United KingdomSwedenChinaUnited States
A recent study found only 34% of UK mothers breastfeed at six months, and only 0.5% breastfeed at all at twelve months. These are some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. It is believed that pressure to get back to work, sexualization of breasts, and lack of resources to help struggling mothers are all factors in these low numbers.
If women wish to have a midwife, they must also see a doctor during their pregnancyA woman may be with a midwife throughout her pregnancy and seek help from a doctor only in cases of an emergencyA woman is allowed to see only a doctor, but can hire a midwife using her own moneyMidwives are not allowed on PEI
Midwives are not allowed on PEI
Pregnancies with midwives have been proven to lead to happier mothers, healthier mothers, easier births, and more breastfeeding. However, the PEI government does not allow for the regulation of midwifery on PEI. This may change in 2017 with the addition of a women's health clinic to the island.
Breastfeeding in publicBreastfeeding with a blanketBottle feeding in publicAll of the above
All of the above
Mothers face discrimination whether they choose to breastfeed openly, breastfeed with a blanket, or bottle feed. Although everyone has opinions on what they believe to be the best, mothers must remember to do what is best for themselves, and their baby.