From August 1 to 9, 2018 the SWRHA Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Committee observed World Breastfeeding Week under the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) theme Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. Several activities were held with the aim of developing a “breastfeeding culture” in the South-West Region through increased awareness among the staff and public about the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. These activities included: Antenatal Education classes at the Maternal and Child Health Clinic; the Breastfeeding Display Competition; and the Prize Distribution Function. 

The Antenatal Education (Lamaze) classes were held in three sessions on August 3, for expectant mothers, fathers and other support persons to promote breast milk as the perfect food for new born babies and encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. The discourse covered the importance of breastfeeding using the proper technique for latching on and feeding the baby, proper storage of breast milk, the diet has to be altered when the baby reaches 6 months - nutritious solid foods should be introduced along with breastfeeding. Working mothers were also encouraged to get breast pumps to ensure that their babies always have a ready supply of breast milk.  

Using the WABA theme, all SWRHA facilities and departments were invited to enter the Breastfeeding Display Competition. Participants were: Paediatric Medical Ward 14A, Paediatric Medical Ward 14B, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric Surgical Ward 5, Maternal and Child Health Clinic, Area Hospital Point Fortin, La Brea Health Centre, Nutrition and Dietetics Department, and Outpatient Pharmacy. The judging took place between August 2 and 8.

The Prize Distribution Function held on August 9, was a culmination of the week’s activities and a celebration of the competition’s participants and winners:

1st Place - Paediatric Medical Ward 14B

2nd Place – La Brea Health Centre

3rd Place - Nutrition and Dietetics Department