Royale Hayat Hospital, a leading healthcare provider dedicated to the well-being of mothers and babies, celebrated World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7, 2023. This year’s theme, “Let’s make breastfeeding at work, work,” radiates the importance of supporting working mothers in their breastfeeding journey. As part of this initiative, the Hospital hosted several events, including a conference to raise awareness and promote the importance of breastfeeding for mothers, expecting mothers, and the public on August 5 in Gardenia Hall from 9 a.m. to noon.
During this lecture, Ms. Batoul Dawi, Public Health Specialist, WHO Country Officer, Kuwait, enlightened the gathering on the perspectives on breastfeeding. In her talk, she underlined the significance of breastfeeding as a natural and beautiful way for mothers to nourish and bond with their babies. She also emphasized that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding and complementary foods for up to two years to achieve optimal growth, development, and health. In addition to the benefits and discussing the global position on breastfeeding, the conference highlighted various challenges lactating mothers face in Kuwait.
In the opening remarks, Ms. Kareena Handa, representing the Hospital Management, underlined the requisite for creating a conducive workplace environment for the working mothers to breastfeed their babies. Also, she suggested that all healthcare organizations should endeavor to limit breastfeeding substitutes and encourage mothers to confirm exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, as there is no need to give formula or other sources of nutrition during these days.
Ms. Carolyn Contreras, a Lactation Counselor, also provided valuable insights on the benefits of breastfeeding and addressed some of the challenges faced by the mothers immediately after delivery. The absence of adequate maternity leave compared to other developed and developing countries, the lack of lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers at the workplace, and inadequate support from the organization are some of the significant challenges working women face. Providing a breastfeeding-friendly atmosphere at the workplace and a safe and secure licensed family day care home near the workplace should be considered a corporate social responsibility that will encourage moms to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.
There were a few exciting testimonials from experienced mothers. The conference was open to all, followed by a Q&A session that addressed the specific concerns of the delegates. The Hospital set up a booth to spread awareness and distributed resource materials and handouts on breastfeeding during this week.