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Jul 25, 2013

Cure yourself with a dose of Healthy Living

Since the breast is best campaign in the nineties, there has been a gradual shift to exclusive breastfeeding. It led to the certification of the first public hospital as “baby friendly” which means the facility promotes exclusive breastfeeding and absolutely no formula or bottles are allowed in the hospital. Next week will be celebrated as Breastfeeding Awareness Week to promote that breast-fed babies are healthier. Tonight, a counselor gives advice on the dos and don’ts of breastfeeding.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Breastfeeding counselors are trained persons who support mothers and their children to breastfeed optimally and educate them about the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. Nurse Yvette Mossiah has been a midwife for over twenty years. She is one of the external evaluators for the breastfeeding initiative in Belize and has supported many women in mastering breastfeeding skills.


Nurse Yvette Mossiah, Midwife and Breastfeeding Counselor

Yvette Mossiah

“Exclusive breastfeeding means that we give nothing else but breast milk. When I say nothing I mean no water, no sugar and water no anise no gripe water no formula nothing else can be given but breast milk.”


Countless research conducted over the years have proven that the health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for both baby and mother far outweigh any excuse for feeding formula.


Nurse Yvette Mossiah

“For the babies, it helps then from not getting ill. It’s the first vaccine  for that baby, that help the baby, to pick up things like salmonella and e.coli so there will be less things like diarrhea, vomiting. The mother will spend less in going to the hospital with the baby. The baby is much quieter, more loving, will grow up to a toddler that is very loving. It also help the baby to be smarter, the IQ level is usually higher than a baby that is bottle fed.  It can also help the family because it is cheaper, a tin of formula is almost twenty something dollars, easier to prepare, you don’t have to be hot water, money spent in buying bottles so, economically its better.”


Exclusive breastfeeding is encouraged for the first 6 months of the baby’s life, this also means that for the first sixth months the baby should not should not use a bottle even if to administer breast milk. Nurse Mossiah explains why.


Nurse Yvette Mossiah

“A bottle has nipples which is a Teat. The breast have nipple also, it causes confusion with the baby using the two. The baby actually tends to pick the bottle- they prefer the nipple of the bottle its easier, it’s less work. Breastfeeding for them is a bit harder, they have to suck harder they have to be there for a long period of time before they can get the quantity that they want. So the baby gets confused; they will choose the teat from the bottle instead of the breast.”


Not introducing the nipple of a bottle will ensure the baby is accustomed to the breast only. The alternative for feeding when mom is away is cup-feeding – another skill that is taught at hospitals and by breastfeeding counselors. So with all the information on how to & why to breastfeed; why are some mom’s still hesitant?


Nurse Yvette Mossiah

“What happens is that one of the main complaints for mothers: my breast does not have enough; my baby is not getting anything”… those are the two complains that you hear on a daily basis from mothers especially younger mothers. As you know there is a high rate of teenagers having babies recently and their cry is my baby isn’t getting anything. Yes the bay can get full and yes the baby get less than if you formula feed a baby. If you stick to formula feed you’ll give one to twoounce of milk in a bottle…actually from the first to the fourth day the baby not even get an ounce within the first three days.  The colostrums comes in small quantities, about eight to ten ounces for twenty-four hrs but also as nature have put it, the baby stomach at this time is very small, it’s like a marble and then it would gradually increase as the days go by; why reason we don’t give formula is that we push open the baby stomach before time; then naturally the small amount from the breast will not satisfy the baby. If they exclusive breastfeed from birth – yes it’s enough for that baby. Colostrums is the first part of the breast milk within the first to the fourth day. It comes in very small amount but very important to the baby, having all the antibodies from the mother’s body and pass it on to the baby. So that is actually the baby’s first immunization.”


Moms should desist from putting their newborns on a feeding schedule.  When exclusively breastfeeding, a baby must feed on-demand.


Nurse Yvette Mossiah

“We don’t feed by time, we feed by demand. The baby will be hungry more often, twenty-four usually for the first to forty-eight hours when that mother jump the fourth day to fifth day the breast get full, the more the baby feed – production of milk, the more the mother fed the more milk the mother have so by the fourth or fifth the day the breast becomes engorged and full and the mother will want this baby to wake up to feed. That’s the more better time with breastfeeding.”


Another challenge is sore nipples or experiencing pain when feeding. The problem here is latching on. Holding the baby in the proper position is the first start to a proper latching on there are 4 main positions.


Nurse Yvette Mossiah

“We have the cradle hold, the cross cradle hold, we have the football hold, we have the side line hold…baby is along the arm. The baby should be positioned belly to belly with the mother that means the baby should be on the side facing the breast. We use our right hand, we cup the breast, four fingers underneath and the thumb goes above the black area of our breast. The nipple should be pointing towards the baby nose and then we move along the lips until the baby grasp it and put the mouth over it; when the mouth goes over the nipple, it should be over the black area not the nipple. So the baby should be sucking above that black area of our breast. When the baby latch on to that area, move the baby closer to us…the lower lip will turn down and that will tell us that the baby have a perfect latching on.”


Nurse Mossiah promises that with these little changes the experience should be significantly enhanced.


Training and support is available at breastfeeding centers located at the Samuel Haynes and Patrick Faber educational center in Belize City. Breastfeeding counselors are available for additional support simple contact maternity wards of any public hospitals countrywide.

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