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No bottles allowed at Victoria Jubilee Hospital

Published:Friday | September 29, 2023 | 8:29 AM
The breast is still the best as demonstrated by this mother who is breastfeeding her baby. More than 50 mothers and their healthy breastfed babies turned up at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Kingston, for the launch of that institution's baby-friendly initiative on Monday, September 19, 1994. The initiative to encourage more breastfeeding coincides with the start of National Breastfeeding Week.

Mothers giving birth at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital will now exclusively breastfeed their newborns, as the hospital has implemented a strict no-bottle policy. Newborns will be promptly handed to their mothers for breastfeeding as soon as possible. The hospital staff has undergone comprehensive training to support and promote breastfeeding both within the hospital and beyond.

Published Tuesday, September 20,1994

VJH opts for a baby-friendly face

By EULALEE THOMPSON: Gleaner Staff Reporter

The country’s principal maternity hospital, yesterday launched its baby-friendly initiative.

Under this initiative, which follows trends being set by maternity hospitals around the world, the hospital will be a “baby-friendly” hospital. This means that breastfeeding will be no bottle feeding in the hospital; the newborn will be placed with the mother as soon as it is born and should be breastfed within half-hour after birth. If the mother is having any problems breastfeeding, then the baby will be fed from a cup and spoon.

The hospital has already trained breastfeeding counsellors to encourage mothers to breastfeed and to advise them on the proper method.

At the launching ceremony held at the hospital in Kingston and which coincides with the start of International Baby Friendly Week and National Breastfeeding Week, Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse of the Ministry of Health said that the Cornwall Regional and Spanish Town hospitals are also being turned into baby-friendly hospitals. She said that the ministry was undertaking the training of hospital staff, so that even the porter at the door will discourage mothers seen feeding their babies with bottles.

Dr Bullock-Ducasse said that about 90 per cent of mothers breastfeed their newborns, but eventually there is a noticeable decline in the number of mothers who breastfeed. She said that about 35 per cent of the three-month olds are being breastfed.

“We have to decide as a nation as to how we will reach the goal of 70 per cent exclusive breastfeeding for the first four to six months of life,” she said.  “By exclusive breastfeeding, (we mean) to give no other food or liquid, except breast milk. Not even water (has to be given to the child) because the composition of breast milk is such that no other food is needed.”

The theme for the week is 'Make Jamaica baby friendly. Use the code'. The international code for the marketing of breast milk substitutes aims to remove the promotion of substitutes in the mass media and in healthcare facilities.

Breastfeeding, doctors say, ensures healthy bonding for mother and child. The first secretion, the yellow substance called colostrums, protects the newborn against infection and breastfeeding also ensures the mother’s uterus returns to the normal size if she starts breastfeeding as soon as the baby is born. Some research also indicates that breastfeed offers protection against cancer of the breast and ovaries.

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