St. LUCIA: The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Elderly Affairs launched its Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign with a workshop held at the Ciceron Wellness Center for expectant and nursing mothers.
The participants in this workshop came from the municipalities of Ti-Rocher Castries, Bexon, Cicéron and Entrepot.
The breastfeeding workshop aimed to educate and empower pregnant women and nursing mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding their babies.
Shirlan Edward, a family life educator in the Office of Health Education, says the activity is necessary given that the ministry is committed to improving breastfeeding levels in the country.
“The reason we are holding this workshop is to encourage or educate people on the importance of breastfeeding. As we realize in the department, our numbers for breastfeeding are very low. People start breastfeeding when babies are born and we find that they stop before the first six months. So we want to educate them on the importance. We accompany them, which is part of the theme to let them know that we accompany them throughout the process from 0 to 6 months and even beyond, two years.
Public Health Nursing Supervisor Bernadette Felix-Regis says the department supports exclusive breastfeeding for infants up to 6 months, especially given the developmental and health benefits of the child. Therefore, pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to support this movement.
“Children who are exclusively breastfed do well with numbers. They do well in math and, in general, they tend to get sick less. Thus, there are several benefits for mother and baby when breastfeeding and breastfeeding exclusively. When we talk about exclusive breastfeeding, we are talking only about breast milk for at least six months. The World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned that exclusive breastfeeding lasts up to 6 months: no water, no formula, nothing but breastmilk. The only thing the baby is allowed to take during this time is medication.
Edward also talked about the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child.
“Breastfeeding is important for the mother. As a mother, when she breastfeeds, her belly goes back into place, so it returns to its normal size when she breastfeeds, and it contracts and returns to its normal size. , breastfeeding is economical. The mother can save money during this breastfeeding period because she does not have to buy formula milk. For a child, it protects the child from infection. It also protects the child from chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.It is the best nutrition for the baby because the best start he needs.
The breastfeeding workshop included presentations on the benefits of breastfeeding, proper attachment and a Lamaze session.
In the coming weeks, the Ministry of Health will organize breastfeeding awareness workshops in other communities on the island.