World Breastfeeding Week 2016

World Breastfeeding Week 2016
5th to 6th August, 2016

MBCT celebrated the World Breastfeeding Week 2016 along with nutrition experts from SPH-PGIMER and the ICDS members (AnganwadiWorkers and supervisors) from Block Bassi Pthana. Dr. Poonam Khanna, Dr. Sonia and Ms. Mukta from PGI discussed about importance of early and exclusive breast feeding, nutritional needs of lactating mothers and role of Anganwadi Workers in maternal counselling at Anganwadi Centres about importance of mother’s milk for her baby to fight infections and a better health in future.

The motive of this celebration was to convey objectives of the World Breastfeeding Week 2016 to the community – “To inform, firmly anchor, galvanize and engage people to understand how breastfeeding is a key to Sustainable Development- living in a way that does not harm the generations to come”. Promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding will strengthen our babies to fight adverse climate changes by making them healthy because we choose for them the best food to begin their life with.

The celebration became an interesting platform for the village level workers to share their experiences and discuss problems they face in their day to day life. Mrs. Manjeet Kaur, Anganwadi Supervisor said,“ I raised my grandson as I learnt during my ICDS training. He was exclusively breast fed for appropriate time and we never made him have bottle milk. He is three and a half years old and is perfectly healthy.”- A perfect example of practicing what we preach.

Mrs. Harbhanjan Kaur (Anganwadi Worker) said, “I tell pregnant ladies to eat fresh vegetables which they can easily grow in a very small area, because I believe that home food is the best source of nutrition.” “My daughter doesn’t eat breakfast and weighs much less than required”. Words of Harbhanjan Kaur (Anganwadi Worker) gave a clear idea that good practices at an early age are a ladder to develop a healthy future generation.

After reaching out to ‪‎ICDS‬ field staff and healthcare providers, we moved forward, Reaching out to the local community of first-time young mothers and mothers-to-be. Thus, Saturday, August 6th was spent with pregnant and lactating mothers, an interactive session for experience sharing to address individual ‪‎breastfeeding‬ concerns. Sincere thanks to Dr. Poonam Khanna from ‪SPH‬-PGIMER,‪ Chandigarh‬ who spent the entire morning with the ladies; letting them know how breast milk has the power to make us healthy; physically, socially and mentally, and importance of valuing our wellbeing from the start of life. During the session, Dr Poonam used examples and stories to highlight the links between breastfeeding and‪ ‎Sustainable Development‬ Goals ‪‎SDGs‬ the theme for celebrating the World Breastfeeding Week this year.

The discussion led to revealing problems of daily life faced by pregnant and nursing mothers. “I have to do the household work as I don’t get much help from mother-in-law due to her ill-health. I give my baby the bottle feed due to lack of time to attend her”, said Anita, a home-maker from Bassi Pathana. What we need to do is to make it a priority to give the baby what its body actually needs, because healthy babies are the healthy future of our families and the nation. Ladies were shown a video demonstration to learn the correct method of attachment for efficient breast milk suckling by baby.

Relating to this year’s theme: breastfeeding- a key to sustainable development; here is how the ‪‎WABA‬ talks about power of breastfeeding, whose practical application is going to answer many of our prayers.