Dr. Laurie Twells - January 31
Understand infant feeding decisions in Newfoundland and Labrador and effecting positive change
Breast milk has numerous well-known health benefits for both baby and mother. The World Health Organization recommends babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months with a goal of breastfeeding for two years and beyond. In Newfoundland and Labrador breastfeeding initiation rates are the lowest in Canada (68% vs. 87%) with concerning regional variations (44%-74%). Equally concerning is the low rates of exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months (15% in NL vs 26% in Canada). A multidisciplinary team was established and is conducting translational research in the area of infant nutrition using quantitative and qualitative research methods to better understand how infant feeding decisions are made. This approach also includes a community/public engagement strategy. The primary goal of the team is to develop evidence-based interventions to increase breastfeeding and to improve the health and well-being of mothers and babies in Newfoundland and Labrador. Results from this research will be presented.