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Nurse Naomi Brownbill, Staff Nurse and Breastfeeding Coordinator at the JNF General Hospital Nursery, stated during the recent “Working for You” programme on Wednesday (August 14) that the week will bring awareness of the integral role breastfeeding plays in the lives of both the mother and child, community and workplace, through a number of initiatives and activities.
“What we want to do with this week is to educate our community to make them more aware of breastfeeding, why it is important, why we would love for them to breastfeed, and also to clear up some of the concerns that some persons including mothers, grandmothers and fathers, may have about breastfeeding,” said Nurse Brownbill.
The nurse mentioned several of the activities that will be taking place in hopes of promoting and creating awareness in communities about breastfeeding. She says that there is so much misinformation out there that it’s important to use this week to educate new parents and those planning on having a baby.
New mothers often try breastfeeding but find it too challenging to do every time their child needs feeding so switch to baby formula after a while. However, it will get easier, says Best For Parents and this week will hopefully show mothers how important it is to stick with it and continue to breastfeed.
The week will launch with remarks by the Minister of State with responsibility for the Ministry of Health, the Honourable Wendy Phipps, on Sunday, August 18.
During the week there will be training for maternity, staff and community nurses.
“In order for us to promote breastfeeding and advocate for it we have to have the knowledge that is necessary about breastfeeding so that we can answer questions and offer support amongst other things,” she said. “That training will be a 20 hour training and about the baby friendly hospital initiative. We will also be having some training taking place in Nevis during that time as well.”
Throughout the entire Breastfeeding Week videos promoting breastfeeding will be shown.
“There is a breastfeeding animation that will be aired throughout the island both St. Kitts and Nevis,” she said. “You will be able to see it at eateries and so forth. We are targeting places that we know people attend and they will be able to see and understand it. It will also be played at the St. Kitts Nevis Ferry Terminal and also at the Pelican Mall in St Kitts.”
An informative documentary was also produced about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and JNF General Hospital’s goal of being certified as such.
“Some persons have never heard of it so they will get to know more about it, what it is about, what are our plans in terms of making the hospital a baby friendly hospital,” said Nurse Brownbill. “So that documentary will be displayed during the entire week at different areas such as our health centers, our healthcare facilities such as doctor offices and even workplaces throughout the island.”
The nurse stated that there are concerns generally about breastfeeding and it is hoped that during the week they will be able to dispel some of the myths.
“So, we are hoping that through these animations, documentaries, and all these informative sessions that we will be hosting, we hope to clear up all of that,” she said. “With the knowledge comes power. We are giving the people knowledge so that they can help us to advocate for breastfeeding as well.