All must be involved in breastfeeding

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Churches, schools and employers are crucial to the ongoing success of breastfeeding in Antigua and Barbuda.
The point was highlighted by Chairperson of the Breastfeeding Committee, Samantha Moitt, at a workshop held at Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) last Friday.
 “Breastfeeding is everybody’s business and this is why we need to come together and support it since everyone has a role in protecting breastfeeding.”
Noting that the theme this year is, “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together,” Moitt said the focus is on the working mom.
“We want to ensure that mothers who are returning to work feel confident enough to continue to supply breast milk even though they are not physically with their babies. We want to ensure that working moms are convinced that there is a way to exclusively breastfeed and at the same time be supported by the community to include their employers, their family, the daycare and their health care providers.”
Although the Breastfeeding Committee is responsible for protecting, supporting and promoting breastfeeding, Moitt reiterated that “to be successful in our breastfeeding community, we all have to play a part and that part extends beyond the healthcare realm”.
The workshop attracted several healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, administrators and representatives from the Medical Benefits Scheme as well as Early Childhood Education which has responsibility for daycare centres.
Heartened by the good turn out, Moitt said the workshop was intended to ensure the dissemination of correct and vital information to mothers.
“We do not want you to regurgitate the information but want you to believe it,” she said. “We want you, at the end of this … if you have questions … be sure to ask them and clear up any common myths surrounding breastfeeding, because we want to empower you so that you can help mothers in the long run.”
She continued, “We selected each of you because of your reach and your interaction with mothers or mothers to be, so let us work together to support breastfeeding.”
The chairperson of the Breastfeeding Committee expressed gratitude to the committee for a job well done and reminded its members that the work in reaching the public is not just an annual affair.

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