“Breastfeeding is good for my children”
Breastmilk is the only and best food as well as the only and best drink an infant need during his first six months.
“When I had my first child, I exclusively breastfed him for 6 months on my mother's advice”, explains Guyzy Solo Masiala. For six months, Guyzy gave only breastmilk - dismissing water and cow's milk. “My baby did not get sick often, he did not have diarrhea as I saw in other children his age”, recalls Guyzy who is now a mother of five healthy children.
With the birth of her last child, God Win, Guyzy did not hesitate to exclusively breastfeed him. “Even during this time of the pandemic, I am breastfeeding my child to give him nutrients and vitamins”, adds the mom.
Breastmilk provides babies with antibodies that keep them healthy and help protect them from many infections. To date, no transmission of the coronavirus through breastmilk and breastfeeding has been observed. To be safe, Guyzy pays close attention to hygiene measures. “Before touching God Win and each time I have to breastfeed him, I wash my hands with clean water and soap”, says the mom.
“I encourage all moms especially in this time of health crisis, to breastfeed their children because breastmilk is very important”, concludes Guyzy looking at her infant.
The Ministry for Health and UNICEF launched the Stronger With Breastmilk Only campaign to raise public awareness about exclusive breastfeeding, including during these times. Skin-to-skin, latching within an hour of birth, and exclusive breast feeding promote baby development. There is no reason to put a term to these practices because of the coronavirus, regardless of the status of the mother or the child.
UNICEF wishes to express its sincere gratitude to Gavi, the Global Partnership for Education, the Solidarity Response Fund, the DRC Humanitarian Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank Group, Unilever and the Governements of Canada, Japan, Malta, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland for their contributions to the coronavirus response in DRC.