The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) an executing department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, the Department of Labour, would like to inform the Sint Maarten community that World Breastfeeding Week comes to a conclusion on April 7 after being observed around the globe from August 1 under the theme, “Foundation of Life.”
CPS encourages our local women population to make breastfeeding a priority once their child is born as it has life-long benefits for the new-born child. Consider situations for which we have no control of, such as in natural disasters, breastfeeding becomes even more important and has been proven to save lives. Breastmilk is the cleanest and safest food for an infant.
Children who were breastfed are healthier and learn better, according to research that suggests breastfeeding may contribute to aspects of sustainable development, according to information from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
According to PAHO: “Breastfeeding gives all human beings the opportunity to have a fair start in life. Breast milk is the best food and the safest option to ensure good health and growth of young children.
“There is strong evidence demonstrating the multiple benefits of breastfeeding for the mother, the child and society as a whole.
In the region of the Americas 54% of children start breastfeeding within the first hour of life, only 38% are breastfed exclusively until six months of age, and 32% continue breastfeeding for two years.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) says an estimated 78 million babies – or three in five – are not breastfed within the first hour of life, putting them at higher risk of death and disease and making them less likely to continue breastfeeding. The aforementioned is based on a report from UNICEF and WHO.
The WHO says the report notes that newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive. Even a delay of a few hours after birth could pose life-threatening consequences.
“Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulate the mother’s production of breastmilk, including colostrum, also called the baby’s ‘first vaccine’, which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies,” WHO says.
Breastfeeding contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the United Nations in September 2015 as a global agenda for action to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change by 2030.
CPS supports and promotes breastfeeding. Contact the Breastfeeding Committee at telephone nr 542-3003 and look out for the next Breastfeeding Café.