Improving access to breastfeeding support in interior British Columbia: A collaborative planning project

While breastfeeding has many health benefits for both infant and mother, many women and birthing people experience breastfeeding challenges. Insufficient supply, poor latch, and pain, as well as stigma and lack of support can impact breastfeeding goals. These challenges can be heavily influenced by social inequities, parental leave, and societal pressures, particularly among disadvantaged populations in Canada. It is important for postpartum people to receive breastfeeding support from healthcare professionals, especially during public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, where in-person contact is limited. Therefore, this C2 project will establish key networks and resources around optimal breastfeeding support in interior BC. Specific objectives are to build partnerships, conduct a needs assessment, and co-create a research agenda to develop and evaluate a virtual breastfeeding intervention study in this region. We expect to identify key aspects of virtual support that will create a thorough and meaningfully designed breastfeeding intervention study, which will ultimately lead to higher rates of breastfeeding rates, as well as improved user satisfaction and self-efficacy among parents and families in BC.

Team members: Elizabeth Keys (UBC – Okanagan); Rishma Chooniedass (UBC – Okanagan); Michele Hopkins (The Bridge Youth & Family Services); Ellen Boelcke (KCR Community Resources); Olivia Andrews (UBC – Okanagan).