Non-profit organization La Leche League Canada has launched its first public service announcement to encourage new mothers to seek support and guidance in breastfeeding their babies.
The 60-second spot includes Little Mosque on the Prairie star Sitara Hewitt proclaiming herself a breastfeeding mother and explaining that women can join breastfeeding support groups, get phone or e-mail assistance from LLLC volunteers or visit the organization’s website for information.
The spot was produced by Allan Wylie of Toronto’s Shadow Pictures Media with LLLC’s in-house team handling creative.
Fiona Audy, chair of LLLC’s board of directors, said the PSA is geared to women who have encountered difficulties with breastfeeding.
In Canada, most women start out breastfeeding but run into challenges and give up sooner than they had planned, she said.
“A lot of women tell us they didn’t know who to ask for help, so we felt it was time to make sure people were aware that La Leche League had the help and support and information they were looking for.”
Audy said her organization is counting on web word of mouth to carry the spot, which is also available on the LLLC website, to Canadian women. She said that while television stations had so far been lukewarm about airing the commercial, LLLC had e-mailed it to more than 2,000 members, health-care providers and other stakeholders since Sunday.
“Our assumption is that, from there, people will forward it to other people,” said Audy. “Traditionally, La Leche’s advertising was word of mouth and community bulletin boards and free advertisements in local newspapers, and what we see is that, for the mothers of today, word of mouth is Twitter and Facebook.”
LLLC’s awareness campaign also includes a poster and an 11-minute film shot by Wylie based on conversations with breastfeeding mothers in the Toronto area. The film will be shown in several locations across Canada later in 2011.