Breastfeeding Committee announces message for mothers
Guyana Chronicle
March 29, 2002

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THE recently resuscitated Breastfeeding Committee in Region Five Mahaica/Berbice) has announced the text of the two main messages it will be emphasising to pregnant and lactating mothers and their families.

They are:
· Every child has the right to be exclusively breast fed for the first sixmonths of its life and

· Put the baby back on the breast and improve its health as well as the financial position of the family.

The revived grouping, comprising 49 members, 24 of whom are from the Region and the rest Nursing Assistants, midwives and Health Visitors, met again formally in Bush Lot Health Centre, West Coast Berbice, last weekend.

The President, Nursing Assistant Hollyann Joseph said they will strive to promote the knowledge that breastfeeding is one of the most rewarding experiences shared by a mother and child and has no substitute.

She said they will work assiduously to reverse the trend of feeding babies with cow’s milk or baby formulae during the target period.

“Our committee recognises that, apart from pre-natal counselling sessions, the few hours following child birth constitute a critical period for the establishment of a chosen feeding technique.

“We are, therefore, appealing to all to support our work so that we can be a most powerful instrument in restoring the breastfeeding culture in Region Five and Guyana,” Ms Joseph said.

The group will also focus on health facilities, including making the two hospitals in Region Five baby friendly by 2003 and ensuring that people become aware of the 10 recommended steps for caring babies.

The Committee anticipates assistance from the business sector and Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO), particularly, in West Berbice.

The meeting last weekend was addressed by National Breastfeeding Committee Coordinator, Ms Ninian Blair.

Other speakers were Dr V. Panday, Regional Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Regional Health Committee, Mr J. Baksh and Regional Public Health Officer, Mr Ignatius Merai.

Joseph said the committee will meet at the same venue from 13:00 hours (1 pm) every fourth Friday of the month beginning April.