Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) is in the process of hiring lactation consultants as it is observing World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7 with a series of health education updates for mothers.
The hiring for lactation consultants is based on an increasing need to support and educate expectant mothers with important information about breastfeeding and to help guide new mothers on how to properly breastfeed their child, according to a press statement.
Patients and families visiting the Sidra Outpatient Clinic can visit an information booth from August 1 to 3 at the Obstetrics Clinic as well as join an education session about breastfeeding on August 2 and 3 at the Patient Resource Centre.
The education sessions will be in English and Arabic and run for both days from 11am to 12.30pm. A clinical nurse, dietitian along with a team of health promoters will be on hand to help address questions and share key information related to the benefits of breastfeeding.
“Statistics released by the Ministry of Public Health and Qatar Statistics Authority in 2012 indicated that only 29% of mothers exclusively breastfed their infants for six months. We hope to play an important role in encouraging mothers in Qatar to breastfeed their children. There are multiple benefits to breastfeeding. There are also environmental benefits. We will start with the hiring of 14 lactation consultants as part of our crucial pre- and post-pregnancy related care that will be offered by our women’s services teams,” said Sharmane Allen, nursing director, Postpartum and Lactation Services, Sidra.
The lactation consultants will be part of a wider team of healthcare professionals to ensure that pregnant women, babies and mothers receive a holistic approach to care – starting with prenatal consultations all the way to post-delivery counsel and guidance. Sidra will also offer antenatal classes for mothers. Families, particularly fathers, will be encouraged to join so that they too can benefit from information on how to support the mother during different phases of her pregnancy and once the baby arrives.
Benefits of breastfeeding
* For mothers: Protects against diseases (eg breast and ovarian cancer, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease); simulates the brain to release hormones that reduce the risk of postpartum depression; helps with weight loss; and helps the womb return to its normal size more quickly.
* For babies, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months reduces the risks of: allergies, asthma and eczema; ear and chest infections, coughs and colds; sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); childhood diabetes and obesity; and hospital visits due to diarrhoea, vomiting and tummy pain
* For the environment: breastfeeding is portable - saves natural resources such as water, electricity and fuel; helps reduce waste of products compared to formula milk; breastfeeding is natural and ensures the safest hygiene; and breastfeeding saves money.
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