The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies are well established, yet it can cause anxiety for many women. In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from 1 to 7 August, Netcare Parklands Hospital’s dedicated maternity staff members reached out to provide mothers with the support they need to feel comfortable and confident about breastfeeding.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates babies being exclusively breastfed for the first six months, as this is recognised as the best nutritional start for a young life. Numerous studies have shown that feeding babies breastmilk only, for at least the first half-year of a child’s life, protects against a host of non-communicable diseases,” general manager of the hospital, Fuad Salie, explains.
Conditions such as asthma, diabetes and obesity may be prevented through breastfeeding, while the psychological benefits for both mothers and their babies cannot be overemphasised, Salie notes.
“Netcare Parklands Hospital held a special open day on 1 August, with two specialist breastfeeding consultants teaching mothers techniques to make breastfeeding easier, so that they can see for themselves how rewarding this experience can be,” the hospital’s labour and maternity unit manager, Sister Marion Irvine, says.
The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is ‘Breastfeeding and Working Mothers’. Many women face financial pressures to return to work before the end of the recommended six-month exclusive breastfeeding period, and may feel that it is difficult for them to continue breastfeeding.
“There is however always a way to make breastfeeding work for busy, professional women, and we are more than happy to share tips and advice,” Sister Irvine says.
“Other factors that may influence women to wean their babies early include finding breastfeeding frustrating at first and experiencing difficulty in getting their babies to latch on. Others may struggle with cracked nipples or irregular milk flow. These problems can be trying but are far from insurmountable. Help is at hand to guide mothers through such challenges.”
Netcare Parklands Hospital’s experienced maternity staff members are well placed to lend advice and hands-on support on all aspects of baby care, including breastfeeding. The hospital’s maternity facilities provide a streamlined service in a tranquil environment. The maternity facilities comprise an 18-bed maternity ward offering accommodation in private, semi-private and four-bed rooms, a neonatal ICU and three delivery rooms.
“We pride ourselves on offering a personalised service, taking people’s individual needs into account, and consider it a privilege to assist in bringing new lives into this world,” Sister Irvine observes.
“Our caring maternity staff members place a strong emphasis on providing quality care and nurturing mothers and babies before and after birth. It is our goal to give the little ones the best start in life, and breastfeeding is a vital aspect of this,” Salie concludes.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Parklands Hospital
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson, Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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