This being the world breastfeeding week,under the theme ‘Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet’,there are many concerns that breastfeeding mothers have,especially because of the Corona pandemic that the whole world is currently going through.
With Kenya reporting an increasingly high number of positive cases of Corona virus daily,many people opt to stay away from health facilities with only those with ‘serious illnesses’ seeking medical support.This means that many breastfeeding mothers are likely to seek breastfeeding advice from other alternatives such as mothers-in-law and their peer mothers that they believe have more expertise in this.
However,these ‘experts’ advocate for introduction of post-lacteal feeds as early as 4 weeks after birth based on the myth that breast milk alone is not enough for a baby.This,among other myths,lead to cultural practices such as introduction of porridge and solid foods before a child gets to six months of age which is supposed to be the beginning of weaning.
In addition,since the country reported the first case of COVID-19,the government has adviced its citizens to avoid crowded places.This has affected breastfeeding since mothers can barely attend baby-friendly meetings where they could have gotten more information on good breastfeeding methods.
In this case,husbands can play a critical role in providing the moral and physical support to their breastfeeding wives.This ensures that the mothers breastfeed till the six month breastfeeding age.Similarly,the husbands can feed the babies using feeding bottles filled with breast milk thus enabling the wife some time to rest.Fathers can also ensure that they prepare balanced diets to provide all the nutrients required during the breastfeeding period.
As the world marks the breastfeeding week this year,it is important for exclusive breastfeeding advocates to scale up their efforts in educating spouses on the importance of partnership in ensuring that breastfeeding is successful.