The mother-child relationship has and, will always remain special. There is no substitute to mother’s love and care in the world. Breastfeeding has been one such phenomenon that strengthens the mother-child bond even more. It acts as the natural immunization to the infant and is found to benefit both the mother and the infant. Due to this reason each and every mother needs exclusively breastfeed her baby for at least 2 years.
VHAG on its own had initiated a Breastfeeding Promotion Programme in 2011 on a small scale in Goa Medical College, Asilo Hospital and Hospicio Hospital. Understanding its utility. The State Family Welfare Bureau, Directorate of Health Services decided to take up the cause and is now funding VHAG to do the programme right from 2011. It is now conducted in the 2 district hospitals and Goa Medical College.
The objective is to assist three Hospitals (GMC, North Goa District Hospital&Hospicio) in implementing the 10 steps / guidelines of UNICEF to become a Baby Friendly Hospital.
VHAG has in place full time Breastfeeding Counselors, 1 in each in Hospicio Hospital– Margao& North Goa District Hospital, Peddem-Mapusa& 2 Counselors in GMC.
These breastfeeding counsellors conduct individual & group counselling sessions on the importance of breastfeeding at the Gynaecology and Paediatric OPDs as well as in postnatal wards on a daily basis. The Counsellors with the help of the flip charts, posters and other IEC materials counsel the mothers on the following:
- Breastfeeding on demand
- The importance and benefits of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding to both mother and baby
- Disadvantages of bottle feeding
- Correct techniques of breastfeeding
- Assisting in overcoming difficulties/Problems in BF.
- Nutrition for mother and child
- Supplementary food after six months