UCT and Children's Hospital highlight World Breastfeeding Week

23 July 2014 | Story by Newsroom

UCT staff from the Child Nurse Practice Development Initiative and a multidisciplinary team of dieticians and nurses from the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital will host several events to mark World Breastfeeding Week, from 1-7 August.

UCT's Child Nurse Practice Development Initiative works with staff at the hospital to develop nursing and child-care practice and has members on the hospital's multidisciplinary Breastfeeding-is-Best organising committee, which organises and runs the week's events. .

This year's theme is "Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal '“ for Life!" and the plan is to create awareness of importance of increasing and sustaining the promotion of breastfeeding, as articulated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), says Shihaam Cader, chief dietician at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital: "Good nutrition during the first thousand days of a child's life is now recognised as a key determinant of a child's cognitive and physical development. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of a baby's life significantly strengthens the immune system, providing the child with a needed health advantage in the fight against childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria, which are among the leading causes of death globally in children under the age of five years."

One of 2014 World Breastfeeding Week's global objectives is to stimulate interest among the younger generation '“ of both sexes '“ about the relevance of breastfeeding.

The daily activities at the Children's Hospital during the week include: a breastfeeding information fair for mothers; breastfeeding skills training for hospital staff; and the provision of "breastfeeding is best" aprons to give mothers with babies a little more privacy during feeding time.

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