Report of World Breast Feeding Week Celebration - 2018

The Department of Child Health Nursing, Obstetrics and Gynaecological (OBG) Nursing and Community Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing (MCON) Manipal, MAHE observed ‘World Breastfeeding Week’ from 1 to 7 August 2018 on the theme “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life and Nourishment for Life”.

August 13, 2018

In India, 3 out of 5 newborns do not get to begin breastfeeding within an hour of birth; 1 out of 2 women is not able to exclusively breastfeed her baby; out of 10 infants, 9 do not get minimum acceptable diet along with breastfeeding after six months of age (BPNI Action Folder, 2018). Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) calls for action to raise the level of awareness among people on the theme ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life and Nourishment for Life’ and focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through improvements in breastfeeding which would help to achieve the targets for health, food security, education, equity, development, and the environment. Keeping this in mind and to raise awareness regarding the importance of breastfeeding, number of activities were organized for the nurses, ASHA workers, postnatal mothers and family members and the public by the faculty members and students of Manipal College of Nursing Manipal.

The various activities planned and conducted were as follows:

Activity I: Awareness among the community:

To galvanize support and to sensitize on breastfeeding and nutrition issues in the community, the Department of Community Health Nursing, MCON Manipal, MAHE and the Sub-center Madaga, Athrady jointly conducted an awareness programme on ‘Breastfeeding’ at Madaga Anganawadi Centre for 40 women and ASHA workers on 7th August 2018 from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm. The programme was inaugurated by Mrs Veena Vivek, Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), Udupi Taluk and Mrs Prameela Shettigar, President, Gram Panchayath, Hirebettu. Mrs. Sandya Kamath, Taluk Panchayat member, Hirebettu, Mr Harish Hegde, President Balavikas Samiti, Udupi, and Mr Ismail, Gram Panchayat President, Athrady joined the inauguration.

Mrs Ansuya, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community Health Nursing, MCON, MAHE gave a talk on the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, composition of breast milk and various positions and attachment while feeding. This was followed by a talk and demonstration regarding positioning the baby, techniques of breastfeeding, expression of breast milk and the management of breast conditions. Mrs Veena Vivek, CDPO, Udupi, emphasized the importance of nutritious food from birth to child growth and development. She also emphasized the audience to update their knowledge by attending the programme and transform these information to the mothers in their practice area and also make sure that all mothers are practicing. Also, she requested the participants to counsel others in their community to minimise the Neonatal death and reduce malnutrition among children.

To create awareness regarding ‘Breastfeeding and its importance’, Department of Community Health Nursing and the Primary Health Centre Hirebettu jointly organized an awareness programme for 36 ASHA workers and the mothers at Hirebettu Anganwadi, on 2nd and 4th August 2018. Dr Subhramanyam, Medical Officer, Hirebettu explained about the significance of observing World Breastfeeding Week. Dr Shashidhara YN, HOD, Department of Community Health Nursing, discussed on the importance of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, positioning of baby and message for the working mothers to continue till two years. Mrs. Sumangala, Junior Health Assistant, Hirebettu PHC gave a message on wrong feeding practices and highlighted on the importance of correct feeding practices. Mrs Sangeetha, Anganwadi supervisor shared her thoughts on complementary feeding and the facilities in Anganwadi centres. Mrs Prameela, President, Athradi and Mrs Sumangala, Anganwadi worker of Hirebettu also added on the advantages of breastfeeding.

Activity II: Educating the health care professionals:

To strengthen the nurses on counselling the mothers at health facilities regarding breastfeeding and to emphasize how breastfeeding is linked with foundation as well as nourishment for life, a training programme on ‘Lactation counselling and Complementary feeding’ was conducted for 23 staff nurses of Kasturba Hospital, Manipal by the faculty members of Manipal College of Nursing Manipal from 2 to 7 August 2018. Various sessions emphasizing on breastfeeding and counselling the mothers were taken by the trained Infant Young Child Feeding counsellors for two hours each day for a motivated group of staff nurses who can act as lactation support counsellors in the health facility.

The sessions highlighted were: “Introduction to the theme- ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life and Nourishment for Life”, “Why Optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding?”, “Production and intake of breast milk” by Mrs Binu Margaret, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing; “Assessing and observing breastfeeding” along with a clinical practice session on ‘Listening and learning’ and assessing a breast feed by Dr Maria Pais, Assistant Professor, Dept. of OBG Nursing.

“Breast conditions” and “Building Confidence and Giving Support exercise” by Mrs Anjalin D’Souza, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing; “Not enough milk, Breastfeeding Low Birth Weight Babies and Expression of Breast milk” by Mrs Sweety Fernandes, Assistant Professor, Department of OBG Nursing; “Complementary feeding and growth monitoring and Breastfeeding options for HIV +ve mothers” by Mrs Sangeetha Priyadarshini, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing Manipal.

Also, a clinical practice session was given on Assessing a breastfeed and use of the counselling skills- listening and learning skills, Building confidence and giving support and Taking Feeding History. A Video on ‘Breast Crawl’ and “Breastfeeding techniques’ and Expression of Breast milk” was shown. The nurses were motivated to early initiation of breastfeeding, assessing a feed, early identification and management of breastfeeding problems and counselling the mothers in day to day practice. It was emphasized to transfer the information what they have learnt to the others nurses and encourage mothers to continue breast feeding.

Activity III: Awareness programme on “Breastfeeding” for mothers and caregivers:

An interactive health education session on “Breast feeding, positioning technique and its importance” to the mothers and caregivers of newborns admitted in NICU and postnatal wards of Kasturba Hospital Manipal was conducted from 2nd to 7th August 2018 by Mrs Ranjani P, Assistant Professor, Department of OBG Nursing, and Mrs Sangeetha P, Department of Child Health Nursing. Mothers were educated on breast feeding their babies, physiology of lactation, how breast milk works, latching vs. bonding, positions, care of breast before and after feed, contents of breast milk, expressing breast milk, difficulties encountered and its treatment, nutrition for mother and advantages of breast feeding to the mother and baby. Around 54 mothers and their family members actively participated in this session and benefitted out of teaching. Concerns of the mothers were clarified during the session.

Activity IV: Lactation counselling

Lactational counselling was given to 15 postnatal mothers in OBG OPD, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal and Dr TMA Pai Hospital, Udupi from 1st to 7th August.2018 by Dr. Maria Pais and Mrs Sweety Jousline Fernandes, Assistant Professor, Department of OBG Nursing. During counselling session, the main focus was on early initiation of feeding, exclusive breast feeding, demand feeding, hunger cues, techniques of feeding and burping the baby, signs of effective breast feeding, benefits to the mother and baby, minor ailments of breast and management during postnatal period.

Activity V: Talk in Radio FM-90.4:

To promote awareness among the public and launch a call for action to reach out to the policy makers, programme managers and media, a community awareness through a radio talk was delivered by 2nd Year MSc Nursing students from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing Manipal on the theme “Breast feeding: Foundation of life and Nourishment of life”. The session highlighted the importance of early initiation of breast feeding, exclusive breastfeeding for six months, continuing breastfeeding till two years, avoiding formulae feeds and its disadvantages, positioning and attachment, expression and storage of breast milk. The programme was broadcasted on 10th and 11th August, 2018 at Radio FM 90.4 MHz. and coordinated by Dr. Baby S Nayak, Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing and Mrs Prathiba Kamath, Department of OBG Nursing, MCON, Manipal.

Closing Ceremony of World Breast Feeding Week Celebrations:

Closing Ceremony of World Breastfeeding Week celebrations was held on 7th August 2018 at Manipal College of Nursing Manipal. Dr Shrikiran A, Professor & HOD, Department of Pediatrics, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, Chief Guest of the event highlighted on the nurse’s role in counselling and reinforcing the mothers on breastfeeding throughout the year. It is the right of every child to get breast milk immediately after the birth and the responsibility of the mother to provide exclusive breastfeeding for six months, continued breastfeeding along with complementary feeding for two years.

Dr Leslie Edward S Lewis, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, in his address emphasized that early initiation of breastfeeding should be started within half an hour for all the mothers. Nurses play a vital role in supporting and encouraging the mothers in early initiation and counselling the mothers. He also appreciated the faculty members of MCON for consistently putting the efforts in enhancing the breastfeeding practices of the mothers.

Concluding remarks was given by Dr Judith A Noronha, Associate Dean, MCON Manipal. She emphasized that preparation for lactation should begin from the antenatal period and reiterated the need of the nursing staff to work as a team to motivate, counsel and build confidence in the mothers. She also appreciated the team effort from different departments.

Certificates were distributed to the participants of training programme by Dr Mamatha S Pai, HOD, Department of Child Health Nursing, and Dr Shashidhara YN, HOD, Department of Community Health Nursing. Ms Jency, staff nurse from Kasturba Hospital, Manipal gave the feedback about the training programme. Mrs Binu Margaret welcomed the gathering, Mrs Ranjani gave an overview of the program and Mr Vinish, proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was compered by Ms Hema Shankar, MSc (N) student.

The one week event was coordinated by Mrs Binu Margaret and Dr Baby S Nayak of Department of Child Health Nursing, Mrs Ranjani P and Mrs Sweety Fernandes, Department of OBG Nursing and Mr Vinish from Department of Community Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education.