World Breastfeeding Week 2014
Western Cape Government Health will form part of International Breastfeeding Week 2014, which takes place from 1 to 7 August 2014. This week is celebrated annually in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and raise awareness about infant health.
The theme for this year's World Breastfeeding Week is Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – for Life!
The theme emphasises the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.
For most newborn babies, exclusive breastfeeding for six months followed by continued breastfeeding, together with nutritious complementary foods for two years or beyond is the key to health and is the optimal approach to child feeding. However, some mothers may struggle to breastfeed their babies for this period due to a lack of breast milk.
For premature infants, the availability of breast milk can make the difference between life and death. Premature infants whose mothers, for whatever reason, are unable to provide them with breast milk, are at risk of developing life-threatening infections like Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC). This preventable infection is the main reason for milk banks all over the world.
The local Western Cape milk bank, Milk Matters, is the result of the vision and foresight of the management team at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, the largest maternity centre in the Western Cape.
Mowbray Maternity Hospital is fortunate to have a Kangaroo Mother Care Ward, which also acts as a reservoir for breast milk donors. Some mothers spend months in the unit monitoring the growth of their infants and as a result can potentially donate litres of breast milk.
Donating breast milk is something that most lactating mothers are able to do, however some are not well-informed about the concept of donating their extra breast milk.
Milk banking is a community project that allows state institutions, the private sector, professionals, communities, individuals and breastfeeding mothers to participate in making a huge difference to many tiny and vulnerable little babies.
Kindly contact your local clinic for more information about and assistance with breastfeeding needs and issues.
To listen to the Breast Is Best radio advertisement, click on the "play" button below.