Government · human milk · neonatal nursing · Nutrition · Parenting · Uncategorized

Speak up for Preemies: Send a letter to your Ontario MPP

In Ontario, we have an opportunity to make things better for preemies and their families. We are asking the Government to support our proposal and provide breast pumps for all parents of preterm and sick newborns. We are also asking the Government to continue to support the lifesaving work of the Rogers Hixon Milk Bank, and to explore the use of fortifier made from human milk for the sickest and smallest babies.

Please review the following and consider filling in a simple form, in which you will be able to write your own message of support for this important initiative which will benefit premature babies and their families in Ontario. Fill in the form here.

On September 28, 2016, the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation called for an exclusive human milk diet for premature babies.


Canadian Premature Babies Foundation calls for an exclusive human milk diet for premature babies

Toronto – September 28, 2016 – A group of parents, clinical leaders, and researchers are calling on Canadian health care providers and provincial health systems to adopt a three-point strategy to improve health outcomes for premature babies.  According to the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation, an approach that ensures all premature babies receive an exclusive human milk diet would improve survival rates and ensure better health outcomes for Canada’s tiniest citizens.

Preterm births remain the leading cause of infant mortality and a growing health concern, causing 1/3 of all infant deaths. In Canada, approximately 1 in 12  babies are born preterm, putting them at greater risk of early death, serious health complications, and long-term developmental challenges. In order to protect premature infants, the CPBF is calling on Canadian health care providers and governments to take the necessary steps to maximize the use of human milk and to ensure the best, evidence-based, care for these infants.

“Despite being the leading cause of death among infants, Canada’s health care system is not doing all it can to provide preterm babies and their parents the care and resources necessary to support their development,” says Kate Robson, Executive Director of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation. “The power of an exclusive human milk diet for preemies is well documented, yet far too many premature children are being denied its benefits.  Canada and Canadians should expect better when it comes to our children.”

The CPBF is calling on health care providers and Canadian governments to take steps to ensure that all  premature babies in Canada have equal access to an exclusive human milk diet, regardless of where they might live. The availability of support for an exclusive human milk diet varies greatly across the country. Among the reasons Canadian preemies aren’t all getting the nutrition they need are the lack of breast milk pumps for mothers, a limited supply of donor milk in all parts of the country, and fortification of breast milk with cows’ milk instead of a human-milk based fortifier for extremely preterm infants.

The CPBF is calling on health service providers and governments to work together to roll out a three-point strategy to ensure premature babies receive the benefits of an exclusive human milk diet.

  1. Increase access to breast pumps for every mother, for hospital and home use;
  2. Improve access to donor milk across the country, and;
  3. Implement fortification of breast milk with a human milk-derived fortifier for infants born extremely preterm.

“There is significant evidence to show that the use of an exclusive human milk diet for all low birth weight preterm babies would have an immediate impact on improving the lives of these children,” says Dr. Elizabeth Asztolas, a neonatologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  “Mom’s own milk has been shown to reduce the risk of both short and long-term effects, including late-onset sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), and surgery related to NEC.    This, in turn, would mean that more of these babies would survive into childhood, and survivors would experience better overall health.”

For more information about this initiative, we welcome you to email us at

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