Home Health GHS advocates conducive workplace environment for breastfeeding

GHS advocates conducive workplace environment for breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding Mother
Breastfeeding Mother

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Upper East Region has urged organisations, departments and agencies in the Region to create the enabling environment for lactating staff to comfortably breastfeed their babies. 

Dr Josephat Ana-Imwine Nyuzaghi, the Regional Deputy Director of Public Health, who made the call, said, “We want to draw the attention of organizations, departments and agencies in the Region on the need to create an enabling environment for our lactating mothers to breastfeed comfortably.”

That, he said, would help promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth and ensure babies fully benefitted from the nutrients from breast milk and prevent diarrhoeal diseases.

The Deputy Director said this when he addressed stakeholders after a float on major streets in the Bolgatanga Municipality to create awareness on the need for exclusive breastfeeding as part of activities to mark this year’s breastfeeding month.
The celebration was on the theme: “Enabling breastfeeding: Making a difference for working parents.”

It brought together stakeholders, including nurses, midwives, members of the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association, staff and students in the Community Development Vocational Technical Institute, among others.

Dr Nyuzaghi said lactating mothers needed a comfortable place with privacy at their respective workplaces so they could sit and breastfeed their babies.

He said some lactating mothers were compelled to leave their babies at home for work, noting that what happened to such babies was unknown.

“Some workers who are capable sometimes express the milk and leave it behind for other caregivers to support in the breastfeeding.

“This can be challenging, once the mothers are not there to witness what is happening at home. It is appropriate that at the work place, we have a convenient place for mothers to breastfeed. I want to encourage all of you to talk positively about breastfeeding.

“We need as stakeholders, wherever we find ourselves, to talk more about breastfeeding and encourage mothers to breastfeed their children. For the first six months, the breastmilk virtually has everything that the child needs,” he said.

Dr Nyuzaghi said the practice where some parents gave water to babies less than six months, with the view that the breast milk lacked water was not true, noting that babies who were given water within the first six months would have diarrheal diseases.

“So, we need to continue to emphasize the fact that for the first six months, mothers should exclusively breastfeed their babies and whatever the child needs for the first six months can be found in breast milk,” he noted.

Dr Nyuzaghi further indicated that breast milk had adequate antibodies that could help babies fight diseases they were exposed to in the initial weeks of birth and insisted on the need for exclusive breastfeeding.

He said beyond six months, babies grew rapidly, therefore, only breast milk could not be enough for them.

“This is where the issue of complementary feeding comes in. But it is important that beyond the six months up to two years, the child would still need breast milk.
“So, beyond the six months period, it is important we still continue to encourage mothers to breastfeed up to two years alongside the complementary feeding,” he said.

Some breastfeeding mothers who participated in the celebration, expressed challenges they faced at their workplaces to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), noting that the call by Dr Nyuzaghi for conducive environments to be created for them was on point.

 

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