World Breastfeeding Week 2010

Selected Reports from Around the World

CARE Window of Opportunity,Nicaragua || Comite de Lancantcia Materna Hospital, Paraguay | | Seberang Jaya Hospial, Malaysia
PREPARE–ChildFund Amlabheta, India || Rescue Mission International Ministry, Uganda || Bon Secours Francis Medical Center, Virginia, USA
Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC), India || Sierra Leone
  • WBW Celebrations organized by CARE Window of Opportunity, Nicaragua

    World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) celebrations were organized in Nacaraqua, with the sponsorship from Ventana de Oportunidad (CARE Window of Opportunity, program). The main focus of the team and hospital staff was on the promotion, protection and support of optimal feeding practices.

    The launch of the celebrations in August at Jonotega, started off with staff of all five birth waiting rooms in Jinotega, Waslala, Rio Grande, San Jose Bocay, El Cúa conducting breastfeeding ‘educational’ and ‘knowledge’ contest sessions. Participants were rewarded with promotional bags branded with key messages about breastfeeding.

    Birth waiting room in Jinotega, Nicaraqua.
    Besides these activities, several rural clinics in the district held breastfeeding fairs to sensitize the community to exclusive breastfeeding and its advantages for mothers, babies and the families. Community members engaged themselves in creating art murals of breastfeeding to help promote breastfeeding.

    Mural in Victoria Motta Hospital, Jinotega

    Educational session with mothers at Victoria Motta Hospital
    At the other events more than 200 mothers, together with expectant mothers, fathers, grandparents and other child caretakers attended an educational session conducted by the nursing staff at Victoria Motta Hospital in Jinotega, which featured important messages about good breastfeeding practices, early initiation, correct positioning and practicing skin-to skin contact. All participants received materials on breastfeeding and support.

    Among these activities, the men attended a forum, entitled: ‘Breastfeeding is also a men’s responsibility’ organized by Soynic Association. This forum was held to sensitize men on the importance of supporting women in their intentions to breastfeeding. Twenty six fathers and six journalists participated in this forum.

    One of the highlights of the celebrations was a National Breastfeeding Fair organized by Breastfeeding National Alliance in Managua. Objectives of the fare were to help raise awareness about importance of providing a supportive pathway to enable women to breastfeed. Activities included an art contest, where participants submitted banners and posters promoting breastfeeding and breastfeeding support. All participants received important breastfeeding messages on good practices and the benefits, printed on posters, brochuers, and notebooks.

  • WBW Activities organized by Comite de Lancantcia Materna Hospital, Cruz Roja, Paraguay

    WBW was launched on 2nd August with talks on the 10 steps and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative of past and present. The participants were all entertained with a reading presentation, together with musical entertainment.

    The following day, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and babies attended the Mother Support Club meeting facilitated by LLL leaders, Cyntia Leaon and Pushpha Panadam. Highlights of the meetings included sharing of breastfeeding experiences by invited TV personalities, Head of Hospital, Pediatrician and Head Nurses.

    Sharing breastfeeding experiences.
    Among many other activities, a Breastfeeding Fare at the Community Park was held, where organizations working with mothers, babies and families in promoting breastfeeding, (mainly Koembota, Pediatric Society of Paraquay, Parhupar and Breastmilk bank, Hospital San Pablo) were invited to participate.

    Children participating in art competition

    Neighbouring children from resource poor centres, and schools also had the opportunity to participate in the fair, and hear talks by different committees including: legal aspects of maternity leave, breastfeeding permission, breastfeeding code, breastmilk bank, early stimulation, healthy eating for mums and breastfeeding poems.

    After the talk, children from the centres and school participated in a breastfeeding art competition, and gifts were presented to those whose drawing captured the messages on breastfeeding.

    As the fair was a great success in bringing together health professionals, hospital staff, organisations, nursing students, schools and communities, there was a vote for it to be an annual activity for the WBW celebrations.

    Throughout the week apart from these activities, breastfeeding support in terms of talks, and counseling for mother and families were held in the department of prenatal and adolescents and maternity ward by the health staff and nursing students.

    Report and Photos by Pushpa Panadam on behalf of the HCR Breastfeeding Committee.

  • WBW Celebrations organised by Seberang Jaya Hospial, Penang, Malaysia

    The Lactation Committee from the Obstetric & Gynaecology/Paediatic Department of Hospital Seberang Jaya, Penang organized several educational and entertaining activities before and during the WBW 2010 celebrations.

    For a start, several refresher courses on breastfeeding and lactation management were held for staff nurses, and midwifes from the Obstetric & Gynaecology/Paediatric Department.

    Banners and phamplets announcing the celebrations were displayed at the entrance of the hospital. The opening ceremony of the World Breastfeeding Week celebrations was officiated by Dr. Hassan Merican, State Health Director, Penang.

    Lecture on BREASTFEEDING –
    JUST 10 STEPS –
    After the launch, more than one hundred and fifty participants attended presentations and lectures on “Breastfeeding –Just steps- The Baby Friendly Way.

    The celebrations continued with, “Breastfeeding Songs, Sketches, and Musical Dramas’ presented by doctors, houseman, staff of the O&G /Paediatric Unit, and the mother support group.

    In addition, there was a poster drawing and breastfeeding quiz competition, held for the public for four days at the foyer of the hospital waiting room. More than two hundred and fifty participants showed their talents in drawing, and tested their knowledge on breastfeeding. Winners of the competitions were presented with gifts and breastfeeding information booklets.

    Poster drawing competition

    Quiz contest on breastfeeding
    On the 6th of August the committee organized a “Join Us to Support BREASTFEEDING” signature campaign at the hospital hall. This campaign, which was open to all to put down their signatures in support to breastfeeding, obtained a total of two hundred and seventy eight (278) signatures.

    Signature Campaign

    One minute Simultaneous Breastfeeding’ in the postnatal ward.
    To officially close the celebrations, the Mother to Mother support group initiated the ‘One minute Simultaneous Breastfeeding’ session in the postnatal ward, where 30 mothers took part, followed by a cake cutting ceremony in appreciation to the mothers who participated.

    Though the official celebrations ended on the 7th August, the Seberang Jaya Hospital continued their activities by having courses, with more than seventy participants attending the follwing:

    1. Breastfeeding and Lactation Management (20 Hrs) Programme by the Dieitic Unit, State Health Department, conducted Dr. Sharmini Diana, Parampalam and KJ Malliaga Devi,
    2. Lactation Management Sessions for Penang Medical College Students coordinated by KJ Rosini Yahaya and KJ Leong Guat Lay.

    Report by Lactation Committee, Department of O&G, Hospital Seberang Jaya.

  • WBW Celebrations organised by PREPARE–ChildFund Amlabheta, India.

    PREPARE–ChildFund is a community partner working for the wellbeing of children, family and community. To make infants secure and healthy, they are capacitating adolescents, pregnant mothers, lactating mothers and caregivers on appropriate diet/food intake, pregnancy registration, institutional delivery, colostrums feeding, effective breastfeeding through the active involvement of mothers and caregivers, and village health committees.

    With the collaboration of the ICDS at four villages, namely Revolkona, JL, Pur, Penta and Kolnara, PREPARE-ChildFund organized a mass rally and meetings, where more than nine hundred participants helped to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding, and also provided support to enable women to achieve their intentions to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding information (translated in local languages) were distributed from the 1st to 7th August 2010, fulfilling the objectives of the organisation to reach the masses .

    Mr Laxman Pedenti, Chairman of Kolnara block, inaugurated the first day of the celebration, at Revolkona Banabasi Kalyana Ashram School, by lighting the candle. One Hundred and fifty Mothers, adolescent girls, Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers and children of the village participated in a rally carrying placards with breastfeeding messages and slogans on the value of breastfeeding.

    At the meeting which took place after the rally, PREPARE Workers shared on the importance of the day, and health workers emphasized the value of breastfeeding and how mothers can feed the child in their absence. The Chairman, Mr Laxman Pedenti, thanked all participants in making the event a great success. Mothers were encouraged to exclusively breastfeed, and to maintain lactation even if they should separate from their infants. He encouraged the men and other caregivers to support their families in breastfeeding.

    Rally by school children

    Education session with participants
    On the 3rd of August, three hundred and sixty participants continued spreading breastfeeding messages with a rally from ESI hospital to Manoranjan Kendra J.K. Pur. The Joint Director of ESI Hospital who inaugurated the event advised mothers and caregivers about the best practices of breastfeeding and care of the baby.

    SHG mothers, adolescent girls, caregivers and ASHA workers attended meetings, where they were welcomed with breastfeeding, and baby care songs. Ms Dipti Kondhpani, CDPO of Rayagada block, elaborated on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding and the benefits and management of breastfeeding. Valuable information about breastfeeding, printed in local languages, was distributed to all participants.

    Ms Anjali, ICDS supervisor, encouraged mothers, expecting mothers, and caregivers to attend meeting and talks conducted at ICDS local centers in order to obtain and disseminate updated information about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.

    She shared ICDS objectives, which focused on children from ages 0-6 years; and pregnant women and lactating mothers from poor sections of rural areas, where they provide supplementary nutrition, food, health and nutrition, education to adult women and adolescent girls.

    The closing ceremony was held on the 7th at Kolnara, with the final rally of two hundred school children, mothers and Asha workers continuing to spread awareness of breastfeeding through the streets of Ramkrushna temple.

    At the closing speech, the organizers thanked all participants, in helping to spread awareness on the risk of artificial feeding and role of breastfeeding for children’s development and life long health and health of mothers. They emphasized on the value of providing support to breastfeeding mothers resulting in improved breastfeeding rates.

    ICDS workers highlighted that these events were a great success in bringing together professionals, hospital staff, adolescent girls, community members and caretakers with one common aim of spreading the goodness of breastfeeding.

    SHG mothers, adolescent girl &

    school children moved the village with placards and glogans

  • WBW Celebrations organised by Rescue Mission International Ministry, Uganda.

    The people of Katanga community and the surrounding areas enlightened themselves with various activities organized by the committee of Rescue Mission International Ministry.

    Activities for the week covered talks such as: the importance of breastfeeding, Nutrition, and most importantly, Likely Hindrances to breastfeeding especially HIV/Aids patients.

    Limitations of education and communication skills were no hindrance to more than 200 cheerful breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women who gathered each day. The numbers of participants grew daily with the encouragement from members who had attended the previous days’ events. The overwhelming response and encouraging participation was made possible through simple illustrations and pictures.

    The highlight of the week was an Awareness match held throughout Katanga and Wandegeya. The entire community of mothers, pregnant women, youth, fathers and other care givers participated in the sensitization program: through talk shows, interviews, and information sharing. Encouraging participation by fathers and youth proved their commitment of full support towards breastfeeding.

    Among other topics discussed were: nutrition for mothers and babies, and emphasis of young pregnant mothers to breastfeed their babies. Speakers encouraged mothers and pregnant women to register themselves with local leaders, and be involved in their regular meetings and follow ups. Leaders and local council members committed themselves to raising awareness and mobilizing mothers and other care givers with some proposed program such as a mapping exercise, enabling them to identify mothers and expectant mothers in the community, and organizing public assembly with information sharing. The activities were greatly appreciated and with the encouraging participation, there was a vote for more of such activities to be continued each year.

    Community support

    Mothers being orientated on

    International rescue committee
    sharing information with fathers

  • WBW Celebrations organised by Bon Secours Francis Medical Center, Virginia, USA.

    Bon Secours Francis Medical Center with the help of the Lactation Department, has been actively promoting and supporting breastfeeding by providing free counseling to pregnant women and mothers both in-house and via on-line services.

    The announcement of the celebrations was widely promoted via posters, and folders on bulletin boards and communications books. Invitations were sent to all past and present breastfeeding groups, physician and midwives offices, state and national lactation organizations and supporters. The main focus was on sharing of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

    Celebrating Our Breastfeeding Community

    Some babes is arms and “bellies”
    More than 160 mothers, pregnant women together with care givers participated in information sharing experiences and breastfeeding quiz. Certificates were awarded to mothers who had successfully breastfed for six months and beyond. All participants also received breastfeeding handouts and healthy food, together with gift coupons for free giveaway for food .

    The lactation team, together with the mother support groups and dieticians, provided a three day counselling session, talks and video presentation on importance of healthy diet for mothers and babies. In order to encourage youth participation, the hospital organized a drawing competition and role play where youth were encouraged to express their understanding and knowledge on breastfeeding.

    The closing event was the highlight of the celebration, where poems and thank you messages were presented by fathers and family members to all mothers and pregnant women in appreciation.

  • WBW Celebrations organised by Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC), India

    For the past 28 years Rural Women’s Social Education Centre has been actively working on Reproductive Health and Rights through empowerment. RUWSEC clinic is the outcome of several years of work around reproductive health in the local communities, who were frustrated with the high cost of the private sector.

    The reproductive health clinic follows the principles of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. The celebrations were held in RUWSEC clinics through various activities. The first being an exhibition, covering topics on nutrition for breastfeeding mothers, and complementary feeding for the babies at six months.

    More than seventy mothers and pregnant women attended this exhibition, where posters on breastfeeding methods, benefits of breastfeeding, weaning food and immunization schedule were displayed. Here, health workers explained the importance of each food item and their role in health for the nursing mother.

    Exhibition of nutritious foods for mothers and children
    Easy to cook, ready available child friendly and highly nutritious foods which can be given to the child during weaning were also displayed. The importance of avoiding artificial feeds and the importance of not using feeding bottles were emphasized. Trained counselors, held personal sessions with mothers, pregnant women and families members on breastfeeding and family support.

    The events continued with cultural programs, where staff and counselors dedicated songs and poetry in local languages conveying messages on the importance of motherhood, parenting skills and benefits of breastfeeding. To further promote understanding of the message, a skit was performed, showing the emotional and physical difference of a mother and breastfed baby with family support against a mother with no support and bottle feeding. In addition, the benefits of breastfeeding and its advantages that last throughout childhood and into adulthood, was shared. Participants were reminded that a rich baby fed with commercial baby milk has a poorer diet than the poorest family baby who is BREASTFED.

    To ensure that this celebration prioritizes community participation, the staff organized interactive talks, quiz competition, and a Healthy Child contest. Gifts and prizes were given to all participants and winners. The village community members were very grateful to the staff of RUWSEC clinic for enlightening them with valuable information and welcomed more events yearly.

    Mothers with their children attending the cultural program.
  • WBW Celebrations in Sierra Leone

    With support from UNICEF and Care Window of Opportunity Program, WBW celebrations were held in Koinadugu and Tonkolili with a total of two hundred participants.

    Participants included mother to mother support groups, facilitators, youth, local council representatives, and women representatives. At district level, with the support from UNICEF 33 slots on breastfeeding were aired on three local radio stations, with the health management staff having panel discussions and phone-in programs on barriers to breastfeeding.

    Besides having several parades by groups and individuals at the community level, the ‘Golden Bow’ (symbolizing protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding) was presented to all participants. The knot at the bow, symbolizing, family and society support, was emphasized. A discussion forum on community perceptions and beliefs towards breastfeeding was coordinated by mother support groups and local council representatives. It was highlighted that breastfeeding it not only about mothers and babies, but was also about family, and community as a whole. Proven research was shared, showing that when fathers were completely supportive there was a higher percentage of mothers breastfeeding. Statements in support of breastfeeding were delivered to all participants.

    Participants viewed videos on early initiation, which lead to discussions and questions. The importance of skin to skin contact, and correct positioning was highlighted. During the discussions, what clearly emerged was that birth attendants play a very important role in effecting timely initiation of breastfeeding.

    The mother support group focused on the importance of group discussions, and information sharing as this will keep mothers and pregnant women updated on breastfeeding information.

    To add to the activities, a quiz competition on breastfeeding was organized for mother to mother support groups and all other participants. The seven days activities, which brought together all community members, were concluded with a vote of thanks to groups and individuals for the success of this event.

    The local council committed itself to work closer with mother support groups in supporting and improving facilities for breastfeeding.


    Discussion forum on barriers to breastfeeding