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Ministry of Health and Wellness using the month of August to promote breastfeeding

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Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2022. 10:16 am CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) along with its partners are using the month of August to promote breastfeeding among pregnant and nursing women.

The ministry launched its initiative, being done in collaboration with Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Pan American Health Organization(PAHO), on the occasion of World Breastfeeding week, which runs from August 1-7.

World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated this year under the theme “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support,” which the ministry says is geared towards strengthening the capacity to protect, promote and support breastfeeding across all levels of society. The MOHW also said that the theme calls on all to work collectively to protect mothers’ and babies’ rights to breastfeeding.

“This shared responsibility means ensuring access to breastfeeding-friendly healthcare facilities, supportive communities, and workplaces, and creating evidence-based national policies. These support systems are critical to breastfeeding and must be restored in order to achieve global nutrition targets,” the MOHW said.

Throughout the month-long campaign the MOHW and its partners will be focusing on four objectives: informing people about the importance of protecting breastfeeding; anchoring breastfeeding support as an important public health responsibility; engaging with individuals and organizations for greater impact; and galvanizing action on protecting breastfeeding in order to improve public health.

The ministry and partners will be utilizing various methods to achieve their objectives, including educational sessions within various communities, social media campaigns, breastfeeding training, and support for exclusive breastfeeding moms.

“Breastfeeding plays an important role in managing the double burden of malnutrition, providing food security and reducing inequalities. It is notably the best nutrition for babies. For this reason, exclusive breastfeeding is encouraged for the first six months of life and its continuation for up to two years, the Ministry added. “Breast milk provides all the nutrients needed for a baby’s proper growth and development and strengthens the immune response, preventing babies from getting sick.”

Breastfeeding also protects mothers from cancer, reduces the risk of postpartum depression, and promotes the loss of extra baby weight gained during pregnancy.

 

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