With World Breastfeeding Week in August highlighting the importance of breastfeeding, Netcare Alberlito Hospital played host to new and expectant mothers at their breastfeeding awareness day, held at the hospital this past Saturday.
The purpose of the event was to educate new mothers on the importance and many benefits of breastfeeding. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), studies have shown that people who were breastfed as infants are likely to have better health throughout their lives, with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as lower rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The event included an informative talk on kangaroo mother care (KMC) by paediatric pulmonologist, Prof André van Niekerk. The focus of KMC is to strengthen the bond between a mother and her newborn child by making use of various techniques including skin-to-skin contact between them and exclusive breastfeeding.
“With good advice, plenty of support, some patience and a small investment in time most mothers can breastfeed their babies successfully. The rewards that come with breastfeeding are manifold for mother and baby alike. Without doubt, breastfeeding offers any child the best start in life,” said Prof van Niekerk.
“Breastmilk is one of the most nutritious substances and is the ideal food for infants,” he added. “Not only does it contain nutrients that are important for a baby’s physical and mental development, it also contains antibodies that help to protect the baby against common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia – the two leading causes of infant mortality worldwide.”
Other informative talks by Sr Trish Idensohn of the Netcare Stork’s Nest mother and baby wellness clinic situated at the hospital, and lactation consultant, Claire Mchugh, touched on interesting new topics such as dream feeding, while also debunking many myths about breastfeeding.
By the end of this informative session the general consensus was that the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies are undeniable and that with the right advice and support there is always a way to make breastfeeding work.
Grace Hall and her baby Georgina Grace Hall photographed at Netcare Alberlito Hospital.
The bond between a mother and child is one of the strongest connections in nature.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) for Netcare Alberlito Hospital
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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