Monday, January 5, 2009

WABA Birthing The World In Quebec, Canada 2010

WABA Birthing The World in Quebec,Canada from 12 - 17 June,2010
James Achanyi-Fontem, Cameroon Link
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA, has issued an invitation to all protectors, promoters and supporters of breastfeeding worldwide to join the Global Forum III slated in Quebec City, Canada from the 12th - 17th June 2010. The message went around the world on the 14th February 2009 when WABA clocked 18. In an information sheet published during the anniversary, it narrated 18 great things that happened since the creation of the global breastfeeding promotion movement.
It would be recalled that,one of the resolutions taken during the Global Breastfeeding Partners Meeting, GBPM VII 2008 in Penang was the hosting of WABA Forum 2010 in Quebec, Canada and the exact date was awaited. During the deliberations, representatives of Quebec Public Health Association ,QPHA, made a presentation on the level of preparations. QPHA invited all Core Partners of WABA to join Quebec in Summer 2010 to rebirth the world in Canada’s historic city. Presenting templates under the theme “Birthing the World”, the association said it is going to be at the first sunrise and each birth is going to be unique, mystical and historic.
Canadians see the event as an event that belongs to the community on a long path of human evolution and participants will not only talk to themselves but to the world as a whole. The preparation of this project started in 2001 with the adoption of Quebec’s Breastfeeding Guidelines ahead of the participation in the 2nd WABA Forum in Monik St.Pierre in 2002.
In 2004 - 2005, the association presented the project to a joint session of WABA and the International Lactation Consultants Association, ILCA, before the organization was approached in 2006 to host the event by WABA's Co-Directors.
The Co-Directors of WABA, Susan Siew and Sarah Amin visited Canada in 2007 for a feasibility study with ASPQ and this led to the take off of preparations proper presented at the GBPM VII 2008 in Penang, Malaysia. At the heart of the mission of ASPQ is health and members keep questioning themselves about the way forward by mobilizing people and influencing decision makers.
In Canada, ASPQ contributes to prevention, promotion and improving the health and well being of people.
A major activity of the organization in the past 30 years has been centred on “Perinatality”, which is the period from conception to when the child is 24 months of age. The continuum of perinatality includes pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
At this time, consideration is given to the mother and child with a lot of question, analysis as a critical eye is developed towards the dominant culture linked to perinatal issues. ASPQ has organized four international conferences on different themes which include, to give birth or be delivered in 1980, annual perinatal isssues in 1990, obstetrics and public health in 2004, becoming a parent in 2008. The last conference looked into the wants and needs of parents. The international conference of 2010 within the WABA Forum will focus on the theme of "Birthing the World".
It should be noted that in Canada, health is under provincial jurisdiction. At the Federal Government level, Health Canada and the Canadian Public Health Agency supervize activities and take decisions. At the provincial levels are implanted the ministry of health and social services, which serve populations of up to 7.5 million inhabitants directly as the public health link.
The public health mandate in Canada is to protect culture, under which are community life styles, the medical care system and human made environment issues interact. These services check personal behaviour, psycho-social environment, physical environment and human biology, which all affect families and biosphere.
Canada has 23 certified Baby Friendly Hospitals, birthing centres and community health services. Out of the 23, 17 are found in Quebec. This could be the good reason that opened the doors for Quebec hosting the WABA Forum which is usually a fertile ground for learning and exchange of experiences. The breastfeeding history of Quebec, however, tells us that two generations of mothers have not breastfed their babies and breastfeeding initiation rates have remained as low as 20%.
Breastfeeding objectives were integrated into public health national priorities in Canada only in 1997. According to the decision of the WABA GBPM last October, 2010 would also be a good venue and opportunity to hold the first-ever men's initiative forum as men get more and more involved in breastfeeding promotion and protection.
For more on the men's initiative, click on and for events in video format.

Benefits of Breastfeeding
According to the US Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, ABM, breastfeeding offers irrefutable and long-lasting health benefits for both mother and baby, who are supported by a comprehensive body of scientific research, including original articles and reviews such as those in Breastfeeding Medicine, the peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
According to leaders of the Academy, despite a sound scientific basis for the advantages of breastfeeding, dissenting opinions that aim to discredit breastfeeding, and question its relevance for women, receive exposure in the mass media such as the recent article in The Atlantic. Critics of breastfeeding do a disservice to new mothers around the world who seek the facts about the proven health benefits of breastfeeding as they often misrepresent the scientific findings and wrongly base global recommendations on the experiences and views of select groups of women.
Clinical and basic science research supports the role of breastfeeding in the development of a baby’s immune system and the presence of maternal antibodies protects infants against infection. Artificial feeding is also associated with increased risk of common disorders of early childhood such as ear infections, asthma, skin disorders, digestive problems, and respiratory tract infections. Studies have also linked artificial feeding to increased risk for obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and necrotizing enterocolitis. Mothers benefit as well, and a history of breastfeeding has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and of breast and ovarian cancer.
With this growing body of evidence, and increasing support among health and medical professionals, breastfeeding rates in the U.S. are in fact on the rise. “But we are reminded as articles like this arise that misinformation abounds. Our goal is to continue to educate healthcare professionals to support mothers who understand the singular importance of breastfeeding and choose to do so,” remarks Caroline J. Chantry, MD, President of the Academy.
“The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine encourages all women to make an informed choice when faced with the question of how to feed their infants based on strong, well-referenced scientific information. The data are compelling, scientific, and reinforced constantly. Breastfeeding for the new mother may not always be easy, but it is important and rewarding for both mother and infant,” says Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, from the Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
The Academy is a global organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding through education, research, and advocacy (
The Academy promotes the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines, and offers clinical protocols for the care of breastfeeding mothers and infants which are available on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) National Guideline Clearinghouse website. The education of physicians and other healthcare professionals is the continuing goal of its Annual International Meeting; the 2009 Meeting will be held November 5-8 in Williamsburg, VA.
Breastfeeding Medicine is an authoritative, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published quarterly. The journal publishes original scientific articles, reviews, and case studies on a broad spectrum of topics in lactation medicine. It presents evidence-based research advances and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including the epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding. The Academy's complete position statement appears on the Academy website (
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, 140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215(800) 990.4ABM (914) 740.2115 Fax: (914) 740.2101 Email: Web site:
“Breastfeeding is going natural”

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