World Breastfeeding Week - 2022

The Departments of Child Health Nursing and Community Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing (MCON), Manipal and the Department of Paediatrics, Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Udupi District Branch observed ‘World Breastfeeding Week 2022’ on the theme “Breastfeeding Friendly Hospitals in India and Step up for breastfeeding - Education and Support” with various activities conducted from 1st to 7th August 2022. The programme was conducted with an aim to advocate breastfeeding friendly practices in hospitals and create awareness among health care professionals and the public to support breastfeeding.

As part of this, a National Webinar on “Promoting Accreditation as Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to Increase Breastfeeding Rates in the Hospitals” was organized virtually by Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal and the Department of Paediatrics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, MAHE in collaboration with BPNI-BFHI India on 5th August 2022, between 2.30 pm and 5.00 pm through MS Teams platform. A total of 170 participants including students, staff nurses, administrators, and faculty members of institutions across the country and abroad attended the sessions. The webinar had three enlightening sessions deliberated by eminent speakers. Speaking on this year’s theme ‘Step up for Breastfeeding: Education and Support”, Dr. Shruthi Bharadwaj, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, KMC, Manipal highlighted the need for support of women in health service, workplace, and community to optimally breastfeed and to provide the Warm Chain of Support for Breastfeeding. She also stressed on educating women to overcome the challenges of breastfeeding during pregnancy, delivery, and the first six weeks after the birth of a baby. She emphasized the need to train health care providers as breastfeeding counselors and provide practical guidance to mothers in establishing breastfeeding. Dr. Omesh Khurana, Professor and HoD, Department of Pediatrics, CCM Government Medical College, Chhattisgarh emphasized on ‘Promoting Accreditation as Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to Increase Breastfeeding Rates in the Hospitals’. He highlighted the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) ten steps in key clinical practices and the steps in the process of the Assessment of Hospital and Accreditation to baby-friendly hospital initiative (BFHI). The session on Nurses Responsibility in promoting Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in India’ was deliberated by Dr. Mamatha S Pai, Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal. She highlighted the nurses’ role in developing and promoting the best practice guidelines on practice, education, and organization policy. Dr. Judith A Noronha, Dean, MCON, Manipal gave the closing remarks. Dr. Shashidhara YN, HoD, Dept. of Community Health Nursing welcomed the gathering. Mrs. Reshma and Dr. Sangeetha compered the event.

A seminar was conducted on the theme ‘Step up for breastfeeding – education and support” for 24 nursing staff of Kasturba Hospital Manipal on August 3, 2022, between 3.00 pm and 4.30 pm. Dr. Binu Margaret and Dr. Yashoda spoke on the theme, benefits of breastfeeding, support needed and challenges faced during breastfeeding, early initiation of breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, attachment, positioning, and expression of breastmilk with the practical demonstrations.

To sensitize on breastfeeding and its importance in the hospital, lactation counselling was conducted among 25 mothers whose babies are admitted to the NICU of Kasturba Hospital Manipal by Dr. Sangeetha and Mrs. Sheela Shetty from August 1 to 6, 2022 and their concerns were addressed. Individual counseling was given to mothers who had concerns. Dr. Jayashree Purkayastha, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, KMC Manipal gave an awareness talk to 13 postnatal mothers and their caregivers on breastfeeding on 4th August 2022, between 3.15 and 4.15 pm.

To sensitize on breastfeeding and nutrition issues in the community, the Department of Community Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal, and Women Child Development Department, Udupi jointly conducted an awareness programme on 4th August 2022 at 80 Badagubettu Anganawadi centre between 11.00 am and 12.00 pm. Dr. Ansuya, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community Health Nursing gave a talk on the importance of breastfeeding, composition of breast milk, various positions, and attachment while feeding. She stressed the importance of giving breastfeeding even while traveling and to avoid giving prelacteal feeding and formulae feeding. Mrs. Akshatha Nayak, Community Health Officer (CHO), Wellness Center, Badagubettu has explained in detail the benefits of breastfeeding, and continued feeding. Mrs. Usha, President of Balavikas Samithi, Mr. Keshav Kotian, Gram Panchayath member emphasized to the audience to update their knowledge by attending these programmes and transform this information to the neighbours and in the community to minimize neonatal death and reduce malnutrition among children. The programme was attended by 20 antenatal and post-natal mothers and the mothers and caretakers of under-five children.  Also, Mrs. Reshma Kotian, Mr. Rakesh Datta, Lecturer, MCON, one Anganwadi worker and one ASHA worker have participated in this programme.

To reach out and promote awareness to a wider range of the public, a community awareness through an interview on ‘Empower parents and enable breastfeeding’ was given by Dr. Yashoda Sathish on FM Radio 90.4 on August 1, 2022 and was telecasted on 5th August 2022, 4.15 pm and 6th August, 2022 at 12.15 pm.

Community awareness to the public on “Thayiya Ede Haalu Amrutha” was done by organizing an awareness program for the general public on 6th August 2022 through an interview on Spandana TV. Dr. Ansuya, Assistant Professor highlighted the theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2022, breastmilk production, preparation to be done by antenatal mothers to promote breastfeeding, positions of breastfeeding, diet during lactation, and briefly about weaning diet. Mrs. Reshma Kotian, Lecturer explained on importance of early initiation of breastfeeding, the composition of breast milk, duration of providing breast milk, infant hunger cues, and tips for working mothers to continue breastfeeding. The program concluded by emphasizing the myths about diet for breastfeeding mothers and the responsibility of the family members and the general public on supporting mothers in breastfeeding. Mrs. Bhavana Vishumurthy Keremata, Anchor of Spandana TV hosted the program.

Poster competition on Breastfeeding and Kangaroo Mother Care was organized by the Department of Pediatrics, KMC Manipal on 5th August 2022 for the staff nurses of NICU, Kasturba Hospital Manipal. The staff of the NICU were divided into a small team of three members and prepared the posters.  A total of 51 staff nurses participated. The total number of posters was 17. Prizes were distributed to the winners.

The valedictory program of the World Breastfeeding Week celebration was held on 6th August 2022. Dr. Leslie Lewis, HoD, Pediatrics, KMC, Manipal welcomes the gathering. Emphasizing breastfeeding, he said, breastfeeding should be promoted every day in clinical practice. Dr. Binu Margaret gave an overview of the activities of World breastfeeding week 2022. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Pushpa G Kini, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, KMC, Manipal addressing the gathering, said breastfeeding helps in bonding and reduces the risk of diabetic mellitus and uterine cancers in mothers. She said breastfeeding is the best food for babies, it improves their intelligence and social skills, and lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. She called the health care professionals to be the ambassadors to promote and support breastfeeding. She congratulated the team for the excellent organization of the program. Dr. Judith A Noronha, Dean of MCON, in her address said that breastfeeding is a natural phenomenon and it is important to support working mothers to breastfeed their babies. She stressed the importance of breast assessment during the antenatal period to avoid breastfeeding related problems in the later stage. She highlighted the importance of breast crawl and latching and focused on the need for continued education and support for the mothers. She also congratulated the team on the success of the program.

Prizes were distributed to the winners of the poster competition conducted for the staff nurses on breastfeeding and kangaroo mother care on 5th August 2022 by the Department of Paediatrics, KMC Manipal. Dr. Baby S Nayak, HoD, Child Health Nursing thanked all the members. Mothers should be continually empowered and health care professionals should inform, anchor, engage and galvanize actions for breastfeeding. The whole program received a lot of appreciation. The event was hosted by Ms. Tenzin Phagdol.

The World Breastfeeding Week 2022 events were coordinated by Dr. Binu Margaret and Dr. Yashoda Sathish of the Department of Child Health Nursing and Dr. Ansuya from the Department of Community Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal.