“The Impact of midwives’ support on women’s breastfeeding experience. ”
In 2003, the World Health organization recommended that infants should be fed exclusively with breastmilk until the age of six months. However, exclusive breastfeeding rates still remain lower than recommended, especially in low-income economies like Nigeria. The crucial period for breastfeeding support is the first two weeks after birth. During this period, breastfeeding support from midwives is most crucial.
Midwives from the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, and around the world, continue to be at the frontline of providing this needed support. As the first contact between baby and mother, midwives ensure early initiation for exclusive breastfeeding. Over the past few months, our midwives have been providing the needed counselling during postnatal classes and home visits to promote and support exclusive breastfeeding.
This year, the crucial role midwives play in the global healthcare system is being properly acknowledged and celebrated as it has been named the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, we have always prioritized and supported midwives as our key frontline health workers. We believe that midwives play a key support and educative role to mothers about lactation and infant feeding. And this is why we provide world-standard resources to our midwives to update and improve their infant breastfeeding knowledge and practices.
We also continue to support exclusive breastfeeding through our midwives by providing tools like breast pumps and anatomical breast models in healthcare facilities across Nigeria.
Nurses and midwives are the backbones of the healthcare system, especially with regards to maternal and child health. They are at the forefront of promoting and supporting exclusive breastfeeding. For a baby to #StartStrong and have a #BetterFuture, the impact of a midwife's support cannot be overemphasized. Supporting midwives with the deserved acknowledgement and remuneration is key to achieving a happier, healthier world.