Allison Daniel is a PhD Candidate in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Her research focuses on children with severe acute malnutrition requiring inpatient admission in Blantyre, Malawi. More specifically, she is interested in the pathways from maternal factors and care practices to child outcomes including development and nutritional status in severely malnourished children. She also acts as a consultant for World Health Organization for the guideline development of prevention and treatment of child wasting.
Internationally recognized breastfeeding recommendations for health infants around the world are early initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding up to two years and beyond. However, according to the 2018 Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, no countries fully meet these recommendations for breastfeeding (UNICEF, WHO, 2019). Specifically, global rates of early initiation of breastfeeding are 45%; rates of exclusive breastfeeding are 43%; and rates of continued breastfeeding at one year postpartum are 74%, dropping to 46% at two years (UNICEF, WHO, 2019). Many enablers and barriers to breastfeeding exist that are culture- and context-specific, yet it is important to consider that the world is undergoing rapid change and globalization. This session therefore aims to stimulate a discussion about breastfeeding in vulnerable populations in Canada and globally through nutritional and public health perspectives.