FDA, GHS call for national legislation to protect breastfeeding mothers

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breastfeeding
Breastfeeding

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have called for the enactment of a national legislation to safeguard the breastfeeding rights of working parents.

The two institutions said the proposed legislation should grant full leave, flexible work arrangements, and breastfeeding leave to breastfeeding working parents.

In a joint statement to mark the 2023 Breastfeeding Week, the FDA and the GHS expressed concern that despite the health benefits of breastfeeding to newborns, many working parents still faced difficulties in keeping up with exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended six months.

It said many working parents continued to give breast-feeding for up to two years or longer.

The statement said breastfeeding was a fundamental right of every child and important to child survival and development.

It appealed to employers to encourage and establish breastfeeding-friendly workplaces with safe spaces, hygienic facilities, and storage of breast milk.

“Long working hours, limited maternity leave, inadequate breastfeeding leave and the stigma surrounding breastfeeding in the workplace are some of the barriers preventing parents from providing nutrition, optimal for their infants,” the statement said.

It called on all stakeholders, including governments, employers, civil society, and community organisations, to work together to overcome those barriers and create a favourable environment to support breastfeeding for working parents.

The 2023 World Breastfeeding Week is on the theme: “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for Working Parents”.

The week-long awareness and sensitisation campaign emphasises the importance of creating a supportive environment that allows working parents to continue breastfeeding without affecting their work.

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