District Mail

Breast­feed­ing week cel­e­brated

- Health · Women's Health · Child Health · Breastfeeding · Babies · Kids · Parenting · Family

Breast­feed­ing Week is cel­e­brated ev­ery year from 1 to 7 Au­gust.

Each year the Western Cape De­part­ment of Health is­sues a state­ment in sup­port of breast­feed­ing and lists the mul­ti­tude of ben­e­fits of breast­feed­ing for both the baby and the mother. Re­search has proven that ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing for the first six months pro­vides an­ti­bod­ies and other com­po­nents that pro­tect chil­dren against most com­mon child­hood ill­nesses.

Breast­feed­ing also has an im­por­tant role in the preven­tion of dif­fer­ent forms of child­hood mal­nu­tri­tion, in­clud­ing wast­ing, stunt­ing, over- and un­der­weight and mi­cronu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies.

This year, the Western Cape Gov­ern­ment has con­firmed its adop­tion of the Mother Baby Friendly Hos­pi­tal Ini­tia­tive, which re­quires that all babies must be placed in the skin to skin po­si­tion im­me­di­ately af­ter birth and that the baby should latch to the breast within the first hour af­ter birth. Re­search has proven that this in­ter­ven­tion in­creases the chances of ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing long term.

This sounds good on pa­per, but is much more dif­fi­cult to achieve in re­al­ity.

A new mother needs all the help she can get with breast­feed­ing which can be frought with com­pli­ca­tions and dif­fi­culty. Many new moth­ers strug­gle with breast­feed­ing and over­bur­dened nurses do not al­ways have the cor­rect and up to date train­ing to as­sist. In the pri­vate sec­tor, hos­pi­tal pro­ce­dures also tend to get in the way of as­sist­ing moth­ers with the cor­rect breast­feed­ing in­for­ma­tion.

The Western Cape Gov­ern­ment needs to en­sure their staff is trained and able to as­sist in this cru­cial first step in a child’s health jour­ney.

Ek ver­staan die mag wat die epi­demie oor ons het, ek ver­staan die af­s­tand wat gehou moet word, ek ver­staan “no mask – no en­try”.

Ek is doof, nie dom nie, maar wat doen jy me­neer of mevrou om my te laat “hoor”? Hoe meer ek vir die mense vra om te skryf wat jy sê, hoe meer mom­pel jy daar agter jou masker of van hulle skreeu en sê dan: “Please put back on your mask!”

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