Lim­popo Health takes breast­feed­ing to new heights

Vuk'uzenzele - - Front Page - Kanego Lewele and More Mat­shediso

THE CEN­TE­NARY of Mama Al­bertina Sisulu sees the Lim­popo Depart­ment of health nam­ing a breast­feed­ing room af­ter her.

Breast­feed­ing is op­ti­mal for child health de­vel­op­ment and nu­tri­tion of in­fants but most work­ing moth­ers find it dif­fi­cult to con­tinue the prac­tice when they re­turn from ma­ter­nity leave.

This is be­cause there are no suitable spa­ces at most work­places for new moth­ers to ex­press or breast­feed their chil­dren dur­ing work­ing hours, and they be­come dis­cour­aged to con­tinue breast­feed­ing be­cause they spend most of the day at work with­out their ba­bies.

In an ef­fort to ad­dress this chal­lenge, the Lim­popo Depart­ment of Health has launched the first ever breast­feed­ing and ex­press­ing room within its of­fices.

The breast­feed­ing room was launched by MEC Dr Phophi Ra­math­uba

It is named af­ter Mama Al­bertina Sisulu whose cen­te­nary is also cel­e­brated this year.

It is hoped that the room will not only sup­port work­ing breast­feed­ing moth­ers, but also en­cour­age other de­part­ments to sup­port breast­feed­ing women in the work­place.

Em­ploy­ees at the depart­ment can also have baby-min­ders bring their ba­bies to work dur­ing lunch time for breast­feed­ing. The room can also be used by moth­ers who want to ex­press dur­ing work­ing hours.

One of the depart­ment’s em­ploy­ees Mpho Ku­tumela and mother of 11-months-old twins, a boy and girl, is ex­cited about the fa­cil­ity.

“The breast­feed­ing room will come in handy for us as moth­ers be­cause it will also af­ford us the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press our breast milk freely in a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

Moth­ers who visit the depart­ment with their ba­bies for any rea­son will also be al­lowed to use the room to breast­feed their chil­dren.

MEC Ra­math­uba said the Al­bertina Sisulu Breast­feed­ing room is one of a kind in the prov­ince.

The MEC hopes that this ini­tia­tive will con­tribute to­wards the pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing prac­tices with the aim of achiev­ing op­ti­mal child health de­vel­op­ment.

“Breast milk con­tains all nu­tri­ents needed by in­fants and can­not be re­pro­duced ar­ti­fi­cially,” said the MEC.

Lim­popo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ra­math­uba (seated) flanked by breast­feed­ing moth­ers who came to the launch.

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