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World Breastfeeding Week: Enhancing Health for Mother and Baby

Promoting Breastfeeding among Mothers in Jordan

In Jordan, surveys show that only 26% of lactating women exclusively breastfeed their infants in the first six months after birth. Medair recognizes that enhanced messaging is needed to properly inform and prevent misperceptions that may come from family members and the community.

Under Medair’s community health programme, Community Health Volunteers visit households to share messaging in areas including identification of danger signs during pregnancy, and post-natal care.

Fatemah is 35 years old and a beneficary of this one-to-one support. Along with her children and her husband, Fatemah left Syria in 2014 and moved to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan for a month before moving to her mother-in-law’s house. Fatema’s husband has a severe back problem, which prevents him from working. So Fatema had to cook at home and sells food to support her family.

Fatemah, 35 years old, with her daughters Rania (5) and Reemas (8 months)

Fatemah registered with Medair while pregnant with her youngest child, Reemas. Medair supported Fatemah with cash assistance for her delivery, and she attended a peer support group for Behaviour Change Communication (BCC). Medair’s Community Health Volunteer (CHV), Zeinab visited her house for personalised information sessions before and after Reemas’ birth.

Zeinab advises Fatemah about the benefits of breastfeeding, such as protecting the mother from breast cancer and enhancing the baby’s health. Zeinab explained the importance of the mother’s milk in the early days because” it shares the mother’s antibodies with baby, which helps baby to develop a strong immune system and protects from illnesses”.

When baby Reenas was born prematurely, Zeinab informed Fatemah about pumping breast milk and storing it. Fatemah explained: “I started pumping and sending my milk to the hospital because I could not go every day. Zeinab told me about the safe and correct way to store milk in the fridge and how to warm it.”

Fatemah has six daughters, two of which are married. Fatemah explained: “I had bad feeding habits with my children, giving them different drinks like herbal teas and water, and introducing solid food after just two months’’

Rawan with Reemas

Rawan is a Health Officer supporting mothers including Fatemah with awareness on breastfeeding. She said, “I am happy when I see the impact of the health awareness sessions we provide to mothers. I recommend all mothers to breastfeed their babies as it benefits both the mother and the child.”

Fatemah too is satisfied, and she shared her plan to continue breastfeeding her baby for two years – breast milk continues to be an important part of her baby’s diet, while introducing Reemas to new foods as she grows. She explained: “I want to apply what I have learned from the first session. My two married daughters also have babies now, so I also shared the instructions with them for their own babies.”

World Breastfeeding Week is from the 01 to 07 August 2023 and recognises the importance of the health and nutrition benefits of breastfeeding.

World Health Organization promotes World Breastfeeding Week to improve global health through breastfeeding.

 


Medair’s community health programme in Jordan is funded by European Union, German Federal Foreign Office, and Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organization.