Breastfeeding Community Project


Breastfeeding is known to positively influence healthy weights in children. Each additional month that an infant is breastfed, up to eight months of age, reduces the risk of being obese later in life by four per cent. According to the 2013 Canadian Consumer Healthy Survey, only 25 per cent of women breastfeed exclusively for six months. The current recommendation supported by Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and others, is six months of exclusive breastfeeding followed by breastfeeding for two years or longer, with the introduction of other healthy foods. The benefits of breastfeeding are dose related, meaning that longer breastfeeding increases the beneficial effect, but even a short time breastfeeding is beneficial and important to mothers and babies.

Populations with Lower Rates of Breastfeeding

The Best Start Resource Centre is spear-heading a breastfeeding community project to support women with lower rates of breastfeeding. As outlined in the Best Start Resource Centre backgrounder on Populations with Lower Rates of Breastfeeding, populations with lower rates of breastfeeding include but are not limited to women from with the following population demographics:

  • Lower socio-economic status
  • Lower education
  • Single family status
  • Aboriginal

They also include women who have a poor social support network, have lower confidence and breastfeeding self-efficacy.

For more information about populations with lower rates of breastfeeding and effective strategies to support breastfeeding rates, the Best Start Resource Centre conducted four areas of research validation. Populations with Lower Rates of Breastfeeding: A Summary of Research Findings provides more information.

Call for Proposals Fall 2014

Organizations are invited to submit a proposal for a small grant for a one year long breastfeeding community project. The purpose of the initiative is to increase effective breastfeeding services across Ontario, by enhancing existing breastfeeding services and programs or adding additional breastfeeding services and programs in areas of need.

Application Dates

  • The deadline for applications is Monday October 20, 2014 at 11am. No extensions will be granted.
  • Successful applicants will be notified in December.
  • Projects must commence in January 2015 and finish in December 2015.

To apply, please ensure your proposal meets the Application Criteria and uses the required forms and templates.

Current Community Breastfeeding Projects

As part of the project, small grants were awarded to 15 community projects in March, 2014 to develop and implement supports to encourage and assist populations with lower breastfeeding rates. Each community project will address one or more populations with lower rates of breastfeeding and use strategies that have been found effective, such as providing breastfeeding peer support and/or providing breastfeeding education. Projects will run until February 2015.

Community breastfeeding project grants include the following projects:

Funded Organization

Planned project partners

Brief Project Description

Adolescent’s Family Support Services of Niagara

Niagara Region Public Health; Niagara Region Breastfeeding Coalition

Peer support, drop-ins and social media campaign

Anishnawbe Mushkiki Aboriginal Health Access Center

Thunder Bay District Health Unit; Thunder Bay Community Midwives; Le Leche League; Beendigen and Ontario Native Women's Association; Union of Ontario Indians

Education for staff, partners and prenatal clients

Carlington Community Health Centre

Somerset West Community Health Centre; Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre; Ottawa Breastfeeding Buddies; Ottawa Public Health

Education and peer support for prenatal and postpartum clients, education of health care providers

Guelph Community Health Centre

Guelph Ontario Early Years Centre; Guelph Neighbourhood Coalition; Community Breastfeeding Collaborative of Guelph

Breastfeeding cafés, peer support

Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre

Region of Waterloo Public Health; Cambridge Early Years Centre

Recruiting and training peer volunteers for additional areas

La Leche League

Regent Park Community Health Centre; Middlesex-London Health Unit

Peer support, education of prenatal clients, education of La Leche League leaders and service providers

M’Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre

Grey-Bruce Midwives; La Leche League Owen Sound; Saugeen and Cape Croker First Nations; Aboriginal CPNP and CAPC; Owen Sound Crisis Pregnancy Centre

Peer support through breastfeeding circles, support by professionals

Noojmowin Teg Health Centre

First Nations Communities

Culturally relevant breastfeeding resources, social media campaign and education of community workers

North Lambton Community Health Centre

West Lambton Community Health Centre; Kettle and Stoney Point Health Services; Aamjiwnaang Health Services; Ontario Early Years Centre; Lambton Public Health; Bluewater Health Center; Lambton County

Peer support, enhancing prenatal First Nations curriculum, culturally relevant education and resources

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Barrie Native Friendship Centre

Culturally determined prenatal and postpartum peer support, resources and education

St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation on behalf of St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team (SMHAFHT)


Workshops for health care providers, resources for high risk women

Trillium Health Partners Foundation

Peel Region Public Health; Trillium Health Partners

Educational resource, prenatal curriculum, and in hospital protocols for women with C-sections

University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Durham Region Health Department; Cindy-Lee Dennis (University of Toronto)

Online course about breastfeeding for pregnancy and postpartum 

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Minwaashin Lodge; Ottawa Public Health

Peer support during pregnancy, hospital stay and postpartum, education of service providers

University of Windsor

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit; Windsor-Essex Baby-Friendly Initiative

Web-based breastfeeding app

Support for Projects

Support for community breastfeeding projects will be announced when available.

Next Steps
For additional information about the Breastfeeding Community Project, please contact



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