World Breastfeeding Week: Empowering Mothers To Embrace Zero Water For Early And Exclusive Breastfeeding Bridges WASH for Optimal Health!
As the Wellbeing Foundation Africa celebrates World Breastfeeding Week across our frontline program locations this week, I am hugely encouraged by the uptick of national awareness, actions and year-round engagement since the WBFA and Federal Ministry of Health Core CSO Partners allied to launch our #MaternalMonday Baby Friendly Initiatives in 2011 – We all still agree that the 10 Steps To Successful Breastfeeding start with washing hands!
Yesterday’s WBW2023 Launch Activities at the WBFA started at Abuja in supporting the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria policy reinforcement kick-off to enable working parents to succeed in our joint Zero Water early and exclusive breastfeeding campaigns, originally implemented and through the Alive And Thrive Partners – FHI360, Unicef, Save The Children and The Wellbeing Foundation Africa. The WBFA Endowed Mamacare Antenatal, Postnatal Education, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Programming, continue building a community of best lactation practices across Nigeria, at scale.
To support working parents in their efforts to breastfeed exclusively and successfully, paid parental leave (including maternity and paternity leave) is essential. This allows for equitable distribution of childcare and domestic responsibilities, reducing the gender gap. It is important to take collective action to improve working conditions and provide relevant support for breastfeeding.
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, in partnership with Dettol Nigeria Hygiene Quest, is taking bold frontline action to transform health facilities into safe and hygienic havens for mothers through our dedicated team of #SanitationAngels. Our WBFA Midwives are interlocutors and lactation counsellors who emphasise and teach on maternal health and hygiene, establishing the understanding and importance of a clean environment. By promoting, teaching and delivering key knowledge and #WASH for wellbeing best practices, we not only empower mothers but also safeguard the health of future generations, by reducing the risk of waterborne diseases and preventing the spread of infections and transmission of germs that could compromise the health of breastfeeding mothers and their infants.
Ensuring that every healthcare facility, household and community can support mothers to embrace the precious journey and power of breastfeeding to nurture, nourish their newborns to thrive essentially requires a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, and unity in addressing environmental management of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.