JIS News

The Westmoreland Health Services will heighten public awareness of the importance of breastfeeding as it hosts a series of activities to mark National Breastfeeding Week from September 13-19.

The Week will be observed under the theme ‘Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet’, which is aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-being.

Promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding to maintain good health will be a main feature of the week.

In an interview with JIS News, Acting Parish Nutritionist for Westmoreland, Gladoris Robinson-Reid, said the parish’s activities will kick-start on Sunday, September 13, with a virtual church service hosted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to launch the Week.

She informed that activities will also include the mounting of poster displays at the parish’s 20 health facilities, as well as other entities in the private sector, which will highlight how breastfeeding can help to reduce the world’s carbon and ecological footprints.

“We will also be doing our educational sessions and lecture demonstration on breastfeeding in all our 20 health facilities for all the different persons seeking health services. So, it doesn’t matter if it is medical service that persons come for. They will be getting breastfeeding education throughout the week,” she said.

Mrs. Robinson-Reid pointed out that special focus will be placed on COVID-19 and breastfeeding, as new and expectant mothers have been expressing concern about “breastfeeding and transmitting the virus to their babies” if they test positive.

“As we move on to Tuesday (September 15), we will be doing some video clips on breastfeeding. So, nutrition officers will be preparing short five- to seven-minute video clips in regard to exclusive breastfeeding benefits, COVID-19 and breastfeeding, as well as the whole aspect of breastfeeding reflex, expressing and storage,” she added.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says there is no evidence to date of COVID-19 in breast milk, or transmission via breast milk.

Mrs. Robinson-Reid said that nutritionists will participate in a health talk programme to be aired at 1:00 p.m. on Vybz FM on Wednesday, September 16.

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