Keeping abreast of baby feeding trends
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated annually in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and raise awareness about infant health, and the provincial health department also took part under this year’s theme, being “Foundation of life”.
WBW took place from 1 to 7 August. Western Cape Government Health encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies, if possible. Breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients (vitamins and minerals) for good growth and development. Your baby needs breast milk without any other food or liquids for the first six months of their lives. Thereafter, mothers can introduce nutritious foods and continue to breastfeed for as long as possible.
Eden and Central Karoo District Health spokesperson Nadia Ferreira said, “Your child’s health is most vulnerable during the first 1 000 days of their life.
The right nutrition during this 1 000-day window can have a profound impact on a child’s ability to develop and learn. Our First Thousand Days initiative encompasses all the important components during the first thousand days.” Why breastfeeding is promoted
It protects your baby against respiratory and noncommunicable diseases such as asthma and diabetes.
It assists your baby’s brain, teeth and jaw to develop.
It decreases the chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer. It helps decrease bleeding after birth. It helps with weight control after your pregnancy. Getting the necessary support
The first few days after giving birth to a newborn can be a very trying time for breastfeeding mothers and the support she receives in that time influences the length of time for which she will continue to breastfeed.
During the first few days at home the mother may be tired and will need as much support as possible. Family support, a relaxed environment and assistance at home will contribute considerably towards a positive breastfeeding experience for mom and the rest of the family.
MomConnect is a free service that aims to use mobile health tools, messaging services and other platforms to create awareness among pregnant women about available health services for their infants. Milk banking
In Eden, both George and Oudtshoorn hospitals are able to pasturise breastmilk and rely on the donations from lactating mothers. The importance of donor milk is
highlighted by the large number of low birth weight or premature babies.
Any lactating mother who can express enough extra milk is asked to contact either George Hospital or Oudtshoorn Hospital to start the simple process of donating breast milk. Find out more
Visit your nearest clinic for more information on breastfeeding or visit www. westerncape.gov.za.