World Breastfeeding Week 2017
Posted: August 3, 2017



The Benefits of Breast Feeding

Curamericas proudly supports World Breastfeeding Week and the practice of Exclusive Breast-Feeding (EBF). EBF means that breast milk is the only form of nutrients provided to an infant within the first six months of life. Here at Curamericas, we strive to incorporate these practices into our programs in all our project locations.

Breastfeeding is a natural and safe method to ensure that a child has the proper diet and nutrients. The WHO and UNICEF recommend mothers practice EBF both for the health and safety of the mother and child. EBF, for the first 6 months, is achieved when breastfeeding occurs:

  • within one hour of birth,
  • when mothers breastfeed on demand,
  • and when the use of bottles, teats, or pacifiers is eliminated.

 EBF is an essential practice to promote as breast milk contributes to proper infant sensory and cognitive development while also protecting babies from contractible and chronic diseases through passive immunity.[1] Immediately breastfeeding an infant after birth has also shown to reduce the chances of the baby dying in the first month of life.

Breastfeeding is especially important in low-resource areas where safe water and other forms of nutrition can be scarce. Breastfeeding has long been known as one of the most cost-effective ways to boost a child’s health and has the potential to prevent approximately 800,000 children from dying every year.[2] In fact, children who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life are 14 times more likely to live to see their second birthday than non-breastfed children.[3]

By adhering to and implementing EBF practices, Curamericas aims to achieve sustainable development in communities by providing a better life for mothers and their children. Exclusive Breast-Feeding is one way in which a single practice can make a world of a difference.

Curamericas and Breastfeeding Around the World

Through Care Groups, mothers share and learn about the benefits and ways of staying healthy. Kenya is one of the program locations where EBF has had successful results through Care Group meetings.

Kenya – as part of Curamericas’ partnership with Carolina for Kibera, Kenyan women were educated on the benefits of EBF via Care Groups (pictured below). Between 2014 and 2016, Kibera County, Kenya saw an increase of women breastfeeding exclusively totaling 64.49% of the target population.

EBF in Other Partner Communities

Guatemala – These two photos show a lactation support group taught by Ana from the Calhuitz Casa Materna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberia – Mother breastfeeding while listening to a public health talk.

 

Sierra Leone – A community health worker breast feeds at a community meeting.

 

[1] http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/

[2] https://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_24824.html

[3] https://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_infocus.php#UNI167297

 

Article written by Sara Clark, Events and Outreach Intern


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