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Promoting immediate and exclusive breastfeeding

Immediate and exclusive breastfeeding contribute to the survival and wellbeing to babies

Breastfeeding babies immediately after they are born and exclusively breastfeeding them for at least 6 months afterwards promotes their healthy growth and development. Given that breast milk contains all the nutritional elements that babies require, it is not advisable to give those aged 6 months and below any other nutritional fluids, including water. They can however be given fluids such as ORS, syrups and other liquid forms of medication.

When performed properly, immediate and exclusive breastfeeding help to reduce the incidence of diseases in babies like diarrhoea as well as certain types of allergies and chronic infections like pneumonia. These in turn contribute to lowering infant morbidity and mortality.

As the world marks World Breastfeeding Week 2021 (1-7 August), the staff at BAFROW Medical Centre continue to intensify their awareness efforts about the importance of this lifesaving practice. In line with this year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme which is Protect breastfeeding: a shared responsibility, one of BAFROW’s strategies is to target more men for awareness and counselling to support women and communities in promoting immediate and exclusive breastfeeding as an essential practice.

As the world grapples with Covid 19 and with the availability of vaccines in The Gambia, a key element of BAFROW’s awareness and counselling activities focuses on encouraging all pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated and maintain their Covid 19 protection practices so that they can continue breastfeeding their babies for as long as possible.