Online Lifestyle Magazine for Healthcare Workers by Pulse Uniform

2010 World Breastfeeding Week

Breast milk is best for babies up to 2 years. The words resound whenever you see a baby being breastfeed. And this August 1 – 7, the sound reaches its peak – the whole world is celebrating 2010 World Breastfeeding Week. The media, women groups, children advocates such as UNICEF, and health organizations like the WHO, all promote breastfeeding. Their calls may have different level of impact to the concerned public, but all make efforts to push one goal – to provide infants with the best nutrients for optimal growth and developments.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding of infants up to 6 months, no other liquid or solid foods, not even water. Breastfeeding must be continued until 2 years of age or even beyond, while they are given nutritious complementary foods. Why breastfeed? It is estimated that the lives of nearly 1.2 million children would be saved if babies were exclusively breastfed. If breastmilk is continued to feed them, notable development of millions of children would be greatly improved. About 9 million children die before reaching the age of 5, and breastfeeding can reduce up to 20% risk of neonatal mortality.

For many years, concerned groups have been promoting breastfeeding, highlighting the advantages of babies fed with breast milk from those that were fed with other baby formulas. Even the governments are deemed responsible of informing mothers, pregnant women, and every woman capable of giving birth of its benefits. Policy-makers, health-care workers, as well as facilities that deliver babies and interact with babies after they are born are encouraged to influence mothers’ behavior toward breastfeeding. Experts in medical scrubs and lab coats, in particular, can have a deep influence on mothers. And their contribution to the 10-Step Project will be profound.

10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming-in-allow mothers and infants to remain together, 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

About Mecheil Lewis