The Mitchell’s Plain day hospital’s midwife obstetric unit hosted a breastfeeding support group for postnatal mothers and their partners earlier this month in recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, which is held annually from August 1 to 7.
Dietitians, health advocates and representatives from the Zoe Project stressed the importance of breastfeeding and how to support it at home and in the workplace.
Men heard how they could support their partners and create a conducive environment for breastfeeding, said Dale Patience, a dietician and therapeutic and medical support programme coordinator from the provincial health department.
“Breastfeeding matters because it is a low-cost way of providing the best nutrition for your baby. Breast milk protects the baby against common illnesses. Breastfeeding has benefits for the mother too. The cost of not breastfeeding can have a big financial influence on families, communities, and the environment,” said Mr Patience.
Exclusive breastfeeding for six months had many benefits for the infant and mother, he said. Starting breastfeeding within one hour of birth protected the newborn from acquiring infections and reduced newborn deaths, and continued breastfeeding could protect the child from dying from childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea, he said.
For more information visit the provincial health department’s website.