UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

NEXUS Seminar: What can we learn from a century of breast feeding promotion policy in Canada? Ostry, Aleck


Changes in breastfeeding practices have been accompanied by profound changes in the daily context within which women make infant-feeding decisions. The availability and promotion of breast milk alternatives, the transmission of breastfeeding knowledge and skills, and the individual and societal value placed on breastfeeding and breast milk are all issues that need to be considered. In this seminar, Aleck will provide a brief history of breastfeeding trends and policies. He will suggest that a historical understanding of the relationship between socio-cultural trends and breastfeeding patterns is essential to informing current policy development and advocacy in the area of infant feeding. Finally, he will examine the context of policy development in the twenty-first century, including the possible challenges presented by international free trade agreements, questions about federal/provincial responsibility for breastfeeding promotion, the relationship between women’s productive and reproductive work, and the need to redefine breastfeeding success at a policy level.

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