The first week of August (Aug 1-7) is observed as World Breast Feeding Day by over 170 countries of the world to commemorate the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. With the objective to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding for infants, this Declaration is promoted by The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WAFA, founded in 1991) and emphasises on breasfeeding as the most effective way to combat diseases in new born babies, especially the Low-Birth-Weight infants. And here at Mumbai Smiles, our mMitra Project also celebrated this occasion with nursing and new mothers, who are the beneficiaries of the Saibangoda Project area, a secluded tribal area in the heart of Mumbai city, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
The celebration at Saibangoda started with introduction on the topic for the 12 beneficiaries, pregnant and new mothers, emphasising on the need of exclusively feeding breast milk to babies up to the age of 6 months as the most ideal source of food and nutrition, as it not only helps the babies grow healthily, but also fights multiple diseases, increases immunity and prevents malnourishment. The event went on to an interactive session between beneficiaries and Project Program Officer on:
- initiation of breast-feeding and sustaining it
- how to manage common problems associated with breastfeeding
- introduction of complimentary food at appropriate time for the babies
The event concluded on a joyful note with mothers discussing their regular hygiene and nutrition habits, which led to eliminating various myths and misconception relating to babies and breastfeeding!
As the message from the UNICEF and WHO said, on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Day 2016, “Breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development” and at Mumbai Smiles, we completely agree with it!