For Immediate Release
March 29, 2001

Dr. David McKeown
Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 2215

Peel's Breastfeeding Survey Results Released

(Brampton) - The two most common reasons for women stopping breastfeeding are concerns about whether the baby is getting enough milk and the issue of having to return to work, says a report presented to Regional Council today.

In 2000, Peel Health conducted a telephone survey to determine the initiation rate and duration of breastfeeding among mothers in Peel. The study also examined the reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding, their awareness of and use of breastfeeding support services.

The survey found that 84 per cent of the women surveyed started to breastfeed their infants at birth. However, only 42.7 per cent of the mothers continued breastfeeding for six months or more.

"Breastfeeding of infants during the first six months of life is considered to be the optimal method of feeding. Studies show that it is extremely beneficial for both a mother and her child," said Dr. David McKeown, Region of Peel's Medical Officer of Health. "Breastfeeding enhances the infant's cognitive development and helps protect against respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Benefits to the mother include reduced cost, convenience and possible reduction in the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer."

The study's findings also indicated that higher levels of mother's education are associated with higher rates of breastfeeding initiation and longer duration.

The Region of Peel already has a number of breastfeeding support services in place. Many mothers receive education and support from Public Health Nurses on the Breastfeeding Help Line and in the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program. The Region is currently in the process of developing a Mother to Mother Breastfeeding Peer Support Program called Breastfeeding Companions to address the support needs of breastfeeding women. Additional Regional initiatives will be directed towards promoting breastfeeding in the workplace and policies, which will increase community-wide support for breastfeeding.

A full report titled Breastfeeding Practices In the Region of Peel (PDF file 108 KB) is available on the Region of Peel's Web site at

For more information on Regional breastfeeding support programs, call Health Line Peel at
905-799-7700. Caledon residents call toll-free at 1-888-919-7800.
Or send an e-mail to


Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone:905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail

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