Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week in Malawi

A mother breastfeeding her twins at a growth monitoring session at Nankhumba Health Centre
© UNICEF Malawi/Moving Minds/2019

By Lulutani Tembo UNICEF Malawi

Every 1-7 August, the world commemorates World Breastfeeding Week.

The theme for this year’s week is “empower parents, enable breastfeeding”.  Breastfeeding is a vital part of providing every child with the healthiest start to life. Breast milk contains a baby’s first vaccines, is the best source of nutrition and boosts brain development. When mothers breastfeed, everyone benefits. Yet, worldwide, less than 40 per cent of children under the age of six months are fed only breastmilk.

Breastfeeding requires encouragement and support from many people. This includes family members, employers and health care providers. With support from the EU, Germany, Korea, UK and US, UNICEF is working in districts across Malawi to encourage exclusive breastfeeding.

Voices of Malawian mothers

Hawa Sharia breastfeeding her child at an EU-funded Afikepo caregroup session in Salima
© UNICEF Malawi/Joy Kimanzi/2019

“This is the way to position the baby on the breast when breastfeeding. Good positioning is important because it helps the baby to suck properly and brings attachment between the baby and the mother” – Hawa Sharia from Salima

Mercy Maleta breastfeeding her child outside her home in Kasungu
© UNICEF Malawi/Joy Kimanzi/2019

“Washing hands before breastfeeding reduces infections as the mother may have been using her hands to work or handle things that may contain germs which can give the baby diarrhea” – Mercy Maleta from Kasungu

Gertrude smiles as she breastfeeds her child in Nkhotakota
© UNICEF Malawi/Joy Kimanzi/2019

“My baby has just turned six months old. I continue to breastfeed him as I introduce him to other foods.” – Gertrude Wisik from Nkhotakota

Atupele breastfeeding her son Lughano
© UNICEF Malawi/Joy Kimanzi/2019

Atupele Mbughi from Salima District on breastfeeding her son Lughano: “He only eats after I breastfeed him. If I don’t do so, he eats very little or not at all.”

Jacqueline Davison, a 21-year-old mother from Chikwawa, breastfeeding her one-year-old baby
© UNICEF Malawi/Eldson Chagara/2019

Jacqueline Davison attends the Dalitso care group in TA Malemia, Chikwawa. The care group promoters advise her on the importance of practicing good hygiene when breastfeeding.

Thokozile (in yellow) takes her child with her to a care group session in Mzimba
© UNICEF Malawi/Eldson Chagara/2019

Thokozile Tchongwe is both a breastfeeding mother and care group promoter at Tiyanjane and Motomoto care groups in Mzimba District.

To find out more about breastfeeding, visit the Internet of Good Things Malawi

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