The Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH) on Tuesday launched its 2022 breast feeding week, in Accra, with a focus on informing people about the importance of breastfeeding.
Held on the theme:“Step up breastfeeding, educate and support,” the celebration seeks to encourage mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding after birth for the first six months after delivery.
It was also focused on ensuring that women received the needed support and health care before, during and after childbirth, as well as promote measures, to ensure that mothers and their children experienced optimal breastfeeding.
Dr EmmanuelSrofenyoh, Medical, Director of GARH, emphasised the need for mothers to breastfeed their babies, adding that it remained central to survival, health, and well-being of women, children, and the nation at large.
He expressed worry about the gradual decline in exclusive breastfeeding and assured that all relevant stakeholders were working closely to avert the situation.
DrSrofenyohnoted that the significant decline in exclusive breastfeeding was due to poor traditional practices, which included giving water and other homemade preparations to newborn babies and indiscriminate advertising of breastmilk substitutes.
“Ghana’s exclusive breastfeeding rate currently stands at 43 percent, representing a significant drop from 63 percent in 2008”, he stated.
DrSrofenyohsaid exclusive breastfeeding was the best, as breast milk contain all the essential nutrients.
Ms Dorcas Asante of Child Nutrition Wellness Department of the Hospital, stated that lactating mothers must only feed their babies on breastmilk because of lactation amenorrhea.
“Lactation amenorrhea causes hormonal changes which reduce the probability of the mother getting pregnant before the child gets to a year”, he stated.
Ms Asante, advised“After six months, nursing mothers can now feed their babies with both breast milk and other complementary foods”.
She said mothers with breast cancer and Hepatitis B should not start breastfeeding immediately after giving birth, but should ensure that their babies were given Hepatitis B vaccine, before introducing them to breastfeeding.
After the event, some mothers who had practiced exclusive breastfeeding were awarded as well as some health practitioners, who had excelled in various vocations.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY