Barriers and Enablers Affecting Exclusive Breastfeeding Rates Among Mothers in Nova Scotia

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Millar, Alyssa
MacEachern, Emily
Manning, Caylene
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The World Health Organization currently recommends that mothers breastfeed their infants exclusively for the first six months, and to continue to breastfeed for up to two years [1]. These recommendations have been accepted by Public Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Breastfeeding Committee of Canada, and the Dietitians of Canada [1]. However, the current national rates in Canada established by the Canadian Community Health Survey do not reflect these recommendations [2]. In Nova Scotia, there are two databases that collect information on breastfeeding rates; although, due to the sampling profiles used, these rates are not representative of the population [3]. It is widely portrayed in research that exclusive breastfeeding positively impacts both maternal and infant health [4]. Various initiatives have been created to encourage exclusive breastfeeding practices and provide support for mothers; however, the effectiveness of these initiatives is unknown due to the unavailability of current data [3]. Despite the many benefits provided by breastfeeding, a number of intrinsic and external barriers act to prevent mothers from breastfeeding [5]. These barriers negatively impact the current rates of breastfeeding in Nova Scotia and need to be addressed via breastfeeding policies and initiatives to improve the current rates. The purpose of this project is to establish current rates on breastfeeding in Nova Scotia and identify barriers and enablers which affect these rates.
Breastfeeding, motherhood, Nova Scotia