Sheppie hospital encourages breast feeding

2016-05-26 06:00

MANY people don’t understand why Port Shepstone Hospital does not allow mothers to bottle feed or use dummies or artificial teats for their infants on in the hospital premises.

“This is in line with the baby-friendly initiative that was developed and implemented in South Africa in the nineties to promote and support optimal infant and young child feeding which mainly promotes breastfeeding,” said hospital’s spokesperson, Phumza Morai.

The aim of the breastfeeding policy is to ensure that every child is given the best start in life.

In 2011, Port Shepstone Hospital was awarded a certificate for having maintained baby-friendly practices.

The status entails that hospital staff, pregnant women and boarder mothers must be given sufficient information on acceptable infant feeding practices that are allowed in the hospital. These include breastfeeding and cup and spoon feeding only.

“For Port Shepstone Hospital to maintain the Baby Friendly Status, it is imperative for people to understand and adhere to our infant feeding policy, which strictly prohibits the use of artificial teats, feeding bottles or pacifiers to infants when on hospital premises,” she said.

These efforts ensure optimal nutrition in the first two years of life, which is critical to address child health and development.

“We promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding after six months with appropriate, safe, complimentary feeding in order to reduce infant mortality,” said Morai.

- Supplied.

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