The Breastfeeding Friendly Campus Initiative is a strategy to support breastfeeding mothers who attend post-secondary educational institutions in Ontario.
The purpose of the BFCI is to foster collaboration amongst post-secondary educational institutions to increase awareness of the Ontario Human Rights Code that protects students' rights to be accommodated on campus, as well as to disseminate key best-practice strategies to support breastfeeding students and to share tools for enacting these strategies.
BFCI is funded by Health Nexus, Ministry of Health, as part of its mandate to enhance breastfeeding among vulnerable mothers.
Breastfeeding students may constitute a vulnerable group: Their schools may or may not have specific breastfeeding accommodation policies, students may not be aware of their right to be accommodated on campus, and faculty and staff may not be aware of their duty to accommodate students. Finally, breastfeeding students may be vulnerable due to their invisibility: No census has been undertaken to document this population, yet increasing numbers of women attending university and the numbers of child care bursaries awarded by OSAP suggests their numbers are significant. Certainly increasing complaints to Human Rights Equity and Accessibility Offices suggests this population and their needs for accommodation are emerging.
Collaboration will be fostered through a conference at Trent University, an interactive website, other social media such as Facebook and twitter, and the sharing of publicity materials such as posters.
BFCI was conceived and is led by Trent-Fleming School of Nursing, Trent University, in partnership with Peterborough County City Public Health Unit and La Leche League.