Friday 6 December, 2019

HSA lends support to ‘Got Milk’ event to promote breastfeeding

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) has thrown its support behind the annual “Got Milk” event held at Camana Bay to promote the importance of breastfeeding.

The Got Milk event which is scheduled for Friday, August 4 is put on each year by The Breastfeeding Support Group and the Beside Manor Store in Camana Bay during World Breastfeeding Week  August 1-7.

The HSA has encouraged all interested parties to attend which takes the form of a discussion on breastfeeding in public and other breastfeeding related topics.

HSA Dietician, Simone Sheehan, strongly advocate that mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of life and extend exclusive breastfeeding into the first six months.

Exclusive breastfeeding means the infant only receives breastmilk without any additional food or drink, including water. It provides all the water, high quality nutrients and energy a baby needs and is a means of food security for infants.

According Sheehan, “Breastfeeding not only significantly improves the health of infants and young children, but improves mental and cognitive development thus promoting learning as well. The experience can also be satisfying and empowering for the mother.”

The annual world breastfeeding observance aims to emphasize that breastfeeding is not just a woman’s issue or the sole responsibility of a woman - it affects the planet and its people, and is a responsibility that must be shared by all.

This year the global focus of the breastfeeding week are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on four thematic areas: “Environment and climate change”, “Nutrition, food security and poverty reduction”, “Survival, health and wellbeing” and “Women’s productivity and employment”.

According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), breastfeeding has many benefits:

The health of our planet is affected by the way babies are fed. Breast milk is a renewable food that is produced and delivered without pollution, packaging or waste, thereby contributing to reduction of the carbon footprint.

Breastfeeding also contributes to the reduction of poverty. It is a natural and low-cost way of feeding babies and children that does not burden household budgets compared to artificial feeding and contributes significantly to long-term health.

Breastfeeding is a key contributor to the survival, health and well being of infants. Put simply, it provides babies with the best possible start in life.


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