By BBN Staff: As World Breast Feeding Week (August 1-7) comes to a close, the United Nations Children’s fund saluted Belize today, for allowing women time off the job to bond with their new babies.
“As we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, let’s recognize Belize for legally acknowledging that new mothers need time to be with their new babies. Mothers in Belize receive 16 weeks paid maternity leave and a one-time maternity grant. Imagine an environment where workplaces granted child and childcare benefits, UNICEF said.
UNICEF added that it works worldwide encouraging leaders to recognize the need for child and childcare benefits. World Breast Feeding week began in 1991, coined by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). The aim was to promote the exclusive breastfeeding of children for the first six months of life. The 2019 theme for World Breastfeeding Week is “The special mother-child bond with innumerable benefits.”
In Belize, the Ministry of Health has pushed to ensure that the seven public hospitals countrywide are certified “child-friendly”, which also entails promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
Maternal and Child Health adviser for the MOH, Dr. Natalia Beer, explained that there are numerous benefits to breastfeeding, including building a child’s immune system to fight off diseases.
“It is a great opportunity to strengthen the bonding between mother and child. It’s an opportunity to build strong communication and enhance the brain structure for future learning and there is evidence that this can contribute to the reduction that the number of children having to resort to violence and crime,” Beer said.