DHA Hospitals celebrate National Breastfeeding Week

breast-feedingDubai, United Arab Emirates, November 15, 2016: Dubai Health Authority hospitals-Latifa and Dubai- celebrated  the National Breastfeeding Week which takes place annually from the 13 to 17 November.

As part of the celebrations, the hospitals raised awareness about the importance of breastfeeding.

Both hospitals offer lactation consultancy to pregnant patients throughout their pregnancy. The hospitals also have helpline numbers so that women facing difficulties with breastfeeding have immediate assistance, without having to visit a hospital.

Dr Manal Wahba, gynecologist and lactation consultant at Dubai Hospital said that all these measures have led to high rates of breastfeeding among women who deliver at DHA hospitals.

According to Dubai Hospital’s statistics, in 2014, of the total number of women who delivered babies at Dubai hospital, 91.8 per opted for exclusive breastfeeding, 8.10 opted for mixed feeding due to medial reasons and less than one per cent of women opted for mixed feeding for non-medical reasons.

Dr Wahba said that these statistics point out to an excellent breastfeeding promotion strategy that the hospitals have in place.

Dr Amal Al Mulla, gynecologist and lactation consultant at Latifa Hospital said: “Initiating breastfeeding within an hour of birth and continuing exclusive breastfeeding up to minimum 6 months is essential for the baby’s growth and immunity. There are several proven health benefits of breastfeeding to the mother and child. However, in order to ensure that more women breastfeed, we need to provide them with support right from the pregnancy stage. Physicians and nurses have an opportunity to emphasize breastfeeding education beginning with preconception visits and continuing through prenatal care, delivery and postpartum care.

“These consultancy sessions really help women particularly first-time mothers. We see so many instances where the mother experiences pain or some other kind of complications and want to give up on breastfeeding. However, after a few sessions, they continue breastfeeding. Therefore, support education and guidance is vital to help mothers stay away from formula milk. Women facing difficulties should not begin mixed feeding without meeting a lactation consultant because in most cases lactation consultants are able to guide women and provide needed assistance to continue breastfeeding.”

She added that World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding of children until they are six months old, followed by continued breastfeeding, complemented with other foods, until they are two years old or even beyond.

Breastfeeding has several health benefits for the mother and child and that breastfeeding is known to help prevent babies from developing respiratory illnesses, recurrent ear infections and other health problems. Breastfeeding is also linked to reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Dr Wahba added that mothers need to be well aware that breastfeeding is not only vital for their babies but also important for their own health and wellbeing. “It reduces the risk of breast, and ovarian cancer, lessens the chances of developing osteoporosis, promotes emotional health, assists in postpartum weight loss. Mothers with diabetes will find that they need less insulin and have more stable blood sugar levels when breastfeeding.  Moreover, the hormone oxytocin which is released during breastfeeding makes the mother relaxed and induces sleep, which allows the mother to get adequate rest.”

Dubai hospital and Latifa hospital offer a breastfeeding helpline. Mothers facing breastfeeding difficulties can call the lactation consultant at Dubai hospital on 04-5026169 or Latifa Hospital on 04-2193286 between 7:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Alternatively, mothers can call UAE breastfeeding support helpline from 10 am to 10 pm. Arabic helpline: 050-6579525. English helpline: 050-8684417. Urdu helpline:  050-9819270

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

Related Articles