Throughout this week, an information booth will be available at the Cayman Islands Hospital to spread the message of the importance of breastfeeding.
The booth is part of Cayman’s involvement in the annual Breastfeeding Awareness Week organised each year by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.
The theme this year is Talk to Me! Breastfeeding – A 3D Experience. Using this theme, in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action is calling for increased encouragement and support for mothers in achieving exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continuing to breastfeed together with age appropriate foods for up to 2 years and beyond.
The information booth at the hospital will be open all week and will be manned by experienced volunteers who will discuss breastfeeding and demonstrate accessories and techniques. Even those who are not yet parents are encouraged to stop by to learn how breastfeeding impacts everyone in the community.
It has been documented that success rates for breastfeeding increase when good support networks are in place. In addition to face-to-face contact, families are increasingly turning to the Internet for information.
To harness this, the Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group is launching a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Skype.
“We feel that it is important to keep up with the times and reach breastfeeding families through the social media that they are already using,” says Annie Mae Roffey of the group.
The Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group is a voluntary group of mothers offering advice based on their own experiences, as well as basic training and support for mothers who want to breastfeed.
Via fundraising and donations, the group has built an equipment bank of electric pumps, hand pumps, books and videos, which are all available for loan or rental. The group also sells hand pumps, electric pumps and nipple shields.
An opening ceremony for the event was held on Monday night, 1 August, at the Cayman Islands Hospital, at which Minister for Health Mark Scotland gave an address.
To end the week, there will be a Family Fun Day on Sunday, 7 August, at the South Sound Community Park (Dart Park) from 2pm to 5pm, which is open to all pregnant mothers, nursing mothers and babies and all other interested persons. There will be refreshments, prizes and surprises and recognition for all breastfeeding families.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action is a global alliance of individual networks and organisations that protects, promotes and supports breast feeding based on World Health Organisation/UNICEF global strategy. Its primary goals are to re-establish and maintain a global feeding culture.