Monday, August 1, 2011

Breastfeeding – The Baby Friendly Way for August

The 1st week of August is the “Breastfeeding Week” when all countries around the world announce their pledge to the importance of breast feeding and its promotion around their nation.
Every country should put specific health objectives to increase the incidence of breastfeeding and this is increasing around Lebanon. This is a must to overcome any barriers that cause a decrease in breastfeeding norms such as:

•Lack of knowledge about the importance and benefits of breastfeeding
•Absence of work facilities or policies that support lactating women ( for example: extended maternity leave, part time employment, facilities for pumping breast milk, child care on site set, etc.)
•Advertising bottle feeding
•Lack of breastfeeding support 

Therefore, to promote breastfeeding, every maternity facility, hospitals, health professionals and dietitians should follow ten steps recommended by the World Health Organization:

•Hospitals should develop written breastfeeding policies that are communicated to all health care staff.
•Allow rooming in once the baby is born; that is, mothers and babies should be together in the same room 24 hours a day.
•Facilities should train its staff to implement such policies.
•Pregnant women should be educated and informed about the importance of breastfeeding and how to manage it in a successful way.
•Breastfeeding should be initiated half an hour after delivery and staff in hospitals should highly recommend that.
•Demonstrate to mothers how to breastfeed and to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their children for medical reasons.
•Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
•Health care professionals should refrain from giving newborns any food or drink other than breast milk unless it is medically indicated.
•No artificial nipples or pacifiers should be given to breastfed newborns.
•Hospital staff should refer mothers to breastfeeding support groups or dietitians after being discharged.

Today, more than 20,000 maternity facilities worldwide report ever having achieved Baby-friendly status. So whether the hospital you deliver your baby in is baby-friendly or not, you know what the “Ten Baby-friendly Tips” are and yes, it is possible that you implement them yourself. Ask your doctor and the nurses helping for your own “baby-friendly” way. Go for breastfeeding for both you and your baby.

Mom & infant photo

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