Health officials encouraging women to Breastfeed

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Tuesday, 20th August, 2019, ( – Top health officials in St. Kitts and Nevis have admitted that they recognize that without good health and wellness, the country cannot be a prosperous Nation where the goals of development can be fully realized and the gains can be shared by all.

That was the assessment of the Junior Minister of Health, Senator Wendy Phipps, while making an address to declare open, celebrations for Breastfeeding Week, which is running from 18th – 24th August, 2019.

The observance is in part designed to help promote the benefits of breastfeeding.

Phipps said, the Federal Ministry of Health views this week of activities as a perfect opportunity to join with premiere international health agencies such as the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in advocating for, sustaining and strengthening – where necessary – those measures designed “to protect, promote and support the right to breastfeeding”.

She stated that as the leading global health agency, the WHO is a keen and consistent advocate of breastfeeding, and has determined that the chances of survival among newborns would be dramatically increased if they are breastfed within one hour after birth.

Together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the WHO also recommends that breastfeeding be exclusively done for the first six (6) months of life, and that solid foods be introduced at (six) 6 months – to complement on demand breastfeeding – up to age 2 or beyond, added the minister.

The Ministry, said Phipps, continues to remind everyone that breastfeeding is a natural and progressive building block that should immediately follow childbirth.

“In this way, our Nation’s children will have the best chance at living strong, long and resilient lives and, in so doing, minimize the likelihood of illnesses, diseases and nutritional deficiencies throughout the entire life course,”, stated the senator.

She also pointed out that breastfeeding’s benefits to the mother are also being promoted by the Ministry, including the fact that breastfeeding (a) reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers; (b) assists the uterus in returning to normal size after childbirth – due to the uterine contractions produced during breastfeeding times; (c) helps in spacing of pregnancies; and (d) improves the bonding experience between mother and child.