World Breast Feeding Week Celebration - August 1-7, 2021
The Department of Child Health Nursing, Obstetrics and Gynaecological (OBG) Nursing and Community Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing (MCON) Manipal, MAHE and Department of Paediatrics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, MAHE, in collaboration with Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Udupi District Branch observed the ‘World Breastfeeding Week’ from August 01-07, 2021. Various activities and programs were planned and conducted on the theme “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.”
The annual event strives to attach invaluable significance to the power of breastfeeding in enhancing child health and development and lowering infant mortality through the provision of good nutrition and protection from cancers of the breast and ovaries. The World Health Assembly has targeted achieving 50% exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of the child by 2025. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has also initiated and launched a national breastfeeding promotion program, MAA (Mothers’ Absolute Affection) under “Strategic approach to Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health” to improve infant and young child feeding.
The global campaign for the year highlights “the links between breastfeeding and survival, health and wellbeing of women, children, and nations.” The objectives were to “inform people about the importance of protecting breastfeeding, provide an anchor to breastfeeding as a significant public health responsibility, engage all for more impact and galvanize action to protect breastfeeding for improved public health.” Breastfeeding will be a successful endeavour when it is seen as a part of the family culture rather than the sole responsibility of the mother or woman.
The programs conducted to further the cause were the publication of the articles on Breastfeeding in the local Kannada newspaper, community awareness through FM Radio Talk as part of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav, E-poster competition for faculty and students on World Breastfeeding Week theme. Awareness program on breastfeeding in high-risk infants for mothers and neonatal unit nurses; Various community areas for mothers with under-five children, caregivers, and ASHA workers; National Workshop on the theme and Facebook live and Television interview sessions.
Articles on Breastfeeding in the Kannada Newspaper: To create awareness and emphasize the importance of breastfeeding, articles were published in the local newspaper, Udayavani, on August 1st. The informative articles were written by Dr Baby S Nayak, Professor and HOD, and Dr Yashoda S, Assistant Professor, Child Health Nursing Department, and article on Breastfeeding: Our responsibility in Sanjeprabha newspaper, Bangalore was written by Dr Maria Pais, Assistant Professor, Department of OBG nursing.
Community Awareness through FM Radio Talk: As part of 'Bharath Ka Amrut Mahotsav' activity, a health awareness talk was given on the topic, “The importance and do’s and don’ts of breastfeeding.” The radio talk was prearranged and recorded on July 28, 2021, at Manipal Institute of Communication, MAHE, Manipal. Dr Yashoda Sathish, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing; Dr Maria Pias, Assistant Professor, Department of OBG Nursing; and Ms Edlin Glane Mathias, Research Scholar, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, gave the radio talk. The audio was broadcasted on August 2, 2021, and repeated on the next day, on Radio FM 90.40Hz.
Awareness Program on Breastfeeding in High-risk Infants for Mothers and Neonatal Unit Nurses: The activity was conducted on 3rd August 2021 in the Neonatal Unit of KMC, Manipal. The awareness program was conducted for mothers and care providers of high-risk infants and neonatal nurses. Importance was given to include information regarding the significance of breastfeeding in high-risk infants, methods of initiating breastfeeding in preterm infants and the observations that should be made during breastfeeding, and indicators of adequacy of breastfeeding in high-risk infants. Around 24 mothers and 12 staff nurses attended the program and afforded appreciative feedback regarding the program conducted.
E-poster Competition for Faculty and Students: The competition was open to all faculty and students across the participating institutions. Posters were invited on the theme, “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.” Nearly 45 contestants from 14 institutions across India and abroad submitted their e-posters. The posters were scrutinized by two judges, and the best two posters were awarded. The winners were: Ms Kanagavalli. K, Nursing Officer, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi and Ms Saraswoti Shrestha, IV Year BSc Nursing student, Rajarajeswari College of Nursing, Bangalore. All the participants received a participation certificate in recognition of their effort.
Awareness programs on breastfeeding in various community areas for mothers with under-5 children, caregivers, and ASHA workers:
Awareness Program for Inner Wheel Club, Innanje Gandhi Nagar, Shankarpura: Mothers and Anganwadi workers: The Rotary Club, Shankarpura and Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal arranged for an awareness program for the Women of Inner Wheel Club, Innanje Gandhi Nagar, and Anganwadi workers. The program was conducted at the Rotary Bhavan Shankarpura, on 4 August 2021 at 10 am by Dr Maria Pais, Assistant Professor - Senior Scale, Department of OBG Nursing, MCON, MAHE Manipal. Dr Pais spoke about the advantage of breastfeeding, the composition of breast milk, and various positions and attachments while feeding. She also conducted demonstrations regarding positioning the baby, techniques of breastfeeding, and expression of breast milk. Participants were motivated to participate in supporting and counselling members of their community to minimize the problems by initiating baby-friendly breastfeeding techniques. A total of 25 Anganwadi workers, pregnant mothers, and Inner Wheel Club women participated in the program.
Awareness Program for Postnatal Mothers at KMC, Manipal: The awareness program was conducted by Dr Maria Pais, Assistant Professor - Senior Scale, Mrs Ranjani P, Assistant Professor - Senior Scale and Mrs Shobha, Lecturer, Department of OBG Nursing, MCON at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, MAHE, from August 4 to 7, 2021. They were able to sensitize postnatal mothers on breastfeeding and its importance in the hospital and community. They also provided lactation counselling to postnatal mothers during this week. A total of 12 postnatal mothers have participated in the program.
Awareness Program at Kajarugutthu Aanganwadi center: The Department of Community Health Nursing, MCON, in collaboration with the Women and Child Development Department, Udupi, conducted an awareness program on 4 August 2021 at Kajarugutthu Anganwadi center for pregnant women from 11.00 am to 12.00 noon. Mrs Sangeetha M K, Supervisor of Anganwadi Centres, welcomed the gathering and introduced the audience.
Dr Ansuya Bengre, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health Nursing, MCON, MAHE, gave a talk on the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, the composition of breast milk, and various positions and attachments while feeding. She stressed feeding even while travelling and in public areas and to avoid pre-lacteal or formula feeding. She also explained the safety measures to be followed during the covid 19 pandemic, the method of expressing breast milk. She encouraged the mothers to continue breastfeeding with precautions even when tested positive. The talk was followed by a demonstration regarding positioning the baby, techniques of breastfeeding and expression of breast milk, and the management of breast conditions.
Mrs Veena Vivekanand, CDPO, Udupi, persuaded the audience to update their knowledge and introduce the learning to the family members and neighbours. The program was attended by 30 mothers (including pregnant and lactating mothers), ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, Self-help group members, and School teachers.
Awareness Program at Athardy Aanganwadi Centre: The Department of Community Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, and Women Child Development Department, Udupi jointly conducted the awareness program on 6 August 2021 at Athrady Anganwadi Centre from 11.30 am to 12.45 pm. Mrs Poornima, the Women and Child Development Department supervisor, welcomed the gathering and requested them to update their knowledge and transform into supportive family members and neighbours.
Dr Ansuya Bengre, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health Nursing, MCON, MAHE, delivered a comprehensive talk on the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, the composition of breast milk and various positions and attachment while feeding, benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the child, continue successive breastfeeding, stressing on feeding even while travelling and in public area and also advised not to give pre-lacteal feeding. The program also highlighted covid safety measures to be followed when the infection is suspected in the family. The importance and consequence of covid vaccines were also explained. This was followed by a talk and demonstration regarding positioning the baby, techniques of breastfeeding, expression of breast milk and the management of breast conditions. The programme was attended by 25 mothers, Self-help group women, Anganwadi workers and ASHA workers.
National Webinar on “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”:
As part of World Breastfeeding Week -2021, Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Department of Paediatrics, Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal, MAHE, in collaboration with Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Udupi District Branch, organized a National Webinar on 5 August 2021, virtually in MS Teams platform between 2.00 and 4.30 pm for the students, staff nurses and faculty of MAHE and other institutions across the state and country. The theme for the webinar was: “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.”
Dr. Leslie E Lewis, Professor, and Head of, Department of Paediatrics, KMC Manipal, presented the welcome address, stating that “Better breastfeeding can save a million lives.” Dr. Lewis welcomed all the participants, guests, and speakers and expressed his sincere honor to have such a program during the Pandemic. He briefly introduced the program and the objectives of the observance of the World Breastfeeding Week celebration across the globe.
An overview of the week’s activities was presented by Dr. Yashoda S, Assistant Professor - Senior Scale, the organizing secretary, explaining the spectrum of activities undertaken by the organizing units to observe the World Breastfeeding Week 2021.
Dr. Judith A Noronha, Dean, Manipal College of Nursing Manipal, also reiterated the importance of Breast-feeding, quoting, “A newborn has only three demands - warmth in the arms of the mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three”. Dr. Noronha also emphasized that awareness is necessary for family members and congratulated the organizing units for collaborating to put up such an informative program.
The webinar had four enlightening sessions on topics relevant to the current need in the Pandemic situation while reviewing the basics of breastfeeding as a shared responsibility.
The first session on ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared responsibility’ was discoursed by Dr. Apurv Barche, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, KMC, Manipal, and was moderated by Dr. Sandeep Kumar, Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, KMC, Manipal. Dr. Barche briefly explained the historical perspectives of breastfeeding, connecting it to scientific, clinical findings, and sustainable development goals (2030) of the UN. He emphasized the responsibility of the public and organizations in sharing the responsibility in encouraging breastfeeding for a more significant impact.
Ms. Nupur Bidla, Director, Advocacy, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) delivered the second session on ‘Effective Implementation and Enforcement of IMS Act.’ The session was moderated by Dr. Anjalin D’Souza, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal. Ms. Bidla spoke about the responsibility for protecting breastfeeding, restating the importance of shared responsibility by the community and government, apart from the family and mothers. She discussed the history, key provisions, and awareness about the IMS Act and the need for understanding for health professionals. She also reviewed the legal aspects of the Act, the effects of the violation, and the ways to report the violation.
The third session, ‘COVID Positive Mother - Fear or Feed,’ was delivered by Dr. Shrikiran Hebbar, Professor, Department of Paediatrics, KMC, Manipal and was moderated by Dr. Jayashree P, Professor, Department of Paediatrics, KMC, Manipal. Dr. Hebbar spoke about the fears that mothers had regarding breastfeeding and child-rearing during the pandemic situation. He also deliberated on the facts that were debated about and contradicted regarding the processes related to neonatal survival. He concluded with evidence and supported the fact that the risk of breastfeeding is much lesser than giving the child top feeds or other commercial feeds and gave detailed recommendations to the mothers and caregivers while providing care.
The last session, ‘Role of Nurse in Breastfeeding during Covid-19 Pandemic’was presented by Dr. Mamatha S Pai, Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal, and was moderated by Dr. Binu Margaret, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal. Dr. Mamata discussed the importance of breastfeeding and the challenges that mothers face. She also discussed the ways to tackle the challenges most effectively and how the nurses in the care situations can help and support the mothers and their families. She insisted that the health care providers should undertake capacity-building programs in order to be better equipped to overcome the challenges.
Participants actively participated and clarified their doubts during the question-and-answer sessions. The program was concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by the Convenor, Dr. Baby S Nayak, Professor and Head, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal. Participants expressed that the sessions were informative, helpful and the webinar was well organized. The webinar was attended by 120 participants, including students, nurses, and teaching faculty from within MAHE and various institutions across India. Ms. Tenzin Phagdol and Ms. Edlin Mathias, Ph.D. Scholars, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal, were the Masters of Ceremony.
Facebook Live: Dr. Anand K Patil, Senior Resident, and Dr. Jayashree P Department of Paediatrics, KMC Manipal recorded an awareness talk on breastfeeding which will be posted on Facebook shortly.