InThere is no doubt that mother’s milk is the best milk. Multan, Pakistan, we have trained many health care providers, including OB/GYN’s, pediatricians, nurses, and paramedics about breastfeeding techniques. But, what is happening practically is that many of these providers are too overburdened with patients to be able to spend an adequate amount of time teaching mothers about breast-feeding and to teach them, but have found it difficult due to time constraints.
The objective of this initiative is to improve the economic plight of the family, optimize maternal health and decrease child mortality & morbidity through maternal training & motivation about breastfeeding.
Many studies have shown that the best time to educate mothers about breastfeeding is before the baby is born. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, this is not occurring and mothers are delivering without any knowledge for breastfeeding. Mothers who deliver by caesarean section seem to be at a particular disadvantage.
Our goal is to have mothers be better prepared and committed to breastfeeding prior to birth. We also look forward to improved communication between mothers and pediatricians about breastfeeding and other health issues.
Strategy: (Two Step Program)
To overcome this problem we have designed a two-step program
- We gathered OB/GYN’s to ask them to take part in this initiative by sending their expectant patients to us on a fixed date & time.
- To provide education to the mothers in a 2 hour seminar about breastfeeding
On January 29, 2009 we selected the leading OB/GYN’s of Multan to attend a dinner presentation about the benefits of breastfeeding and IMMAN program. At the dinner, we advocated for breastfeeding in a 30-minute presentation. It included the topics
- Introduction of the IMMAN
- The value of breastfeeding for the child, mother and society
- The situational analysis of breastfeeding/ exclusive breastfeeding
- The Pakistani scenario and the need for breastfeeding
- The way Forward—- an interactive discussion for Future Action Plan.
The OB/GYN’s welcomed the information and plans for the future very warmly. To help them with the task of sending their patients to out mother-education sessions we provided them with several copies of coupons for the mothers to attend the breastfeeding class. These coupons had the information about venue, date & time of the seminar. We paced numbers of the coupons so that we could track how many had been distributed. The counter foil of the coupon had to be filled out by the gynecologist with the contact information of the expectant mother. We requested that in each IMMAN seminar only those mothers be sent who are expected to deliver in the next couple of months.
We plan to gather feedback form the OB/GYN’s about how the mother’s liked or disliked the breastfeeding seminar that we provided through IMMAN. This will be done in 4-6 months. We also plan to recruit mothers for the breast-feeding seminars by advertising through print and electronic media.
Another objective of IMMAN is to introduce mothers to pediatricians prior to the birth of their baby. We are hoping that this interaction will improve their post partum care and establish a relationship that is supportive of breastfeeding.
The following topics are planned for the IMMAN seminar for mothers;
- Introduction of IMMAN
- Benefits of Breast feeding to society, family, Mother and Baby
- How and from where the milk comes? What increases the milk production and what decreases it.
- The right starts and position for mother. The right position of baby and correct attachment.
- How to feed after cesarean section? What should working women do?
- What mothers should eat/ drink before and after delivery?
- How to tell if mother’s milk is sufficient
Hurdles for Exclusive Brest Feeding— Myths and fears of mothers
The Breastfeeding protects the children from various lung diseases.
The campaign for breast feeding is launched with the name of IMMAN (Initiative for Mother Milk Awareness in Newborns). The obstetricians were involved in this initiative. They referred the expectant mothers on a specific day where pediatricians gave 6 lectures to motivate the need for breastfeeding, the anatomy & physiology of lactation, correct method of latching and attachment were taught. There was a special talk on how to exclusively breastfeed after C-section delivery.
These seminars were conducted at Ramada Hotel. There have 3 of such seminars. The program has been applauded by the public, mothers and gynecologists, alike.
IMMAN in world press:
The program was well applauded by the American academy of Pediatrics- Section on breast-feeding. The full-page report was published in their newsletter. This can be seen on the following link http://www.aap.org/breastfeeding/files/pdf/winter09newsletter.pdf. It is appended with the report.