15 September 2022

I’m so proud of Mandeville Regional Hospital becoming Baby-Friendly!

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is an international accreditation certifying hospitals with the necessary practices and standards to support breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding gives babies the best, healthiest possible start in life and is recommended exclusively for the first six months of life. Unfortunately, in Jamaica, the…, Teamwork made the dream work, First, cooperation is key. Without unity of purpose, it is impossible to achieve and maintain BFHI certification. Keeping us all together and on task was our remarkable BFHI coordinator. We had unwavering support from our Regional Health Authority (SRHA), the hospital administration and the hospital board. Next, we had the department of nursing,…, Shared mission to protect the health of baby and mom, As a team, we believe that breastfeeding advocacy is perhaps the single intervention with the greatest potential to improve the health of our nation. Breastfeeding positively impacts the health of four generations. It impacts the newborn at the time of birth by reducing gastrointestinal illness, cot death, childhood obesity and the benefits that…, How we trained 800 staff members, Even though the team was focused and united, we still had some technical issues. We struggled to train our massive workforce. With 800 employees including doctors, nurses, paramedics, auxiliary and administration, and a rapid turnover of staff members, getting across the finishing line of having trained 80 per cent of our staff seemed impossible.…, More than just a certificate, Finally, hospitals must remember that BFHI is more than a certificate. It is a commitment to excellent patient care. In 2018, we opened an infant nutrition and education room which we call ‘Breastfeeding Training Room’. It’s a beautiful space with a tranquil atmosphere. Here we teach mothers some rudiments of breastfeeding and how to safely…, What’s UNICEF doing?, The UNICEF-World Health Organisation Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative prepares health systems and mobilises healthcare workers to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in accordance with evidence-based standards.   Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life has been identified as the foundation for achieving optimal health and…
13 May 2018

All Jamaican mothers deserve baby-friendly hospitals

Not many people know this, but my degree from UTech was in Child and Adolescent Development. So I know about the benefits of breastfeeding and it’s always been something I wanted to do when I was ready to be a mother. So it’s doubly important for me as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador that more mothers are able to breastfeed. We’re recommended as…, Breastfeeding at nine months, My experience makes it all the more important for me to support the  UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative . BFHI is about certifying hospitals who have the necessary practices and standard to support mothers to breastfeed. Currently  we have just two baby-friendly hospitals in Jamaica : Alexandria Community Hospital in St Ann and Princess…, Supportive hospital staff, When I got Zyon I instantly fell in love when from I put him on my breast. I was looking straight into his eyes and he was just looking at me and looking for the breast. My son had no problems latching. I’ve always heard stories ‘Oh my baby didn’t latch and my nipples were hurting me.’ But for me it wasn’t like that.  But what happened was when I…, Need more trained nurses, And I said ‘Nurse there’s nothing coming!’ But she said ‘It will come, just keep doing it’ and she was really encouraging me to continue, and I remember turning to her. I said to her: ‘Do not under any circumstances give my child any formula! I do not want my child to have any formula because I want to breastfeed my baby.’ We need more nurses who…, Making the right decisions, When I had my child I was fortunate. There was a lactation specialist who came immediately to my room to talk to me about breastfeeding, about the advantages of the breast, engorged breasts, mastitis, latching and stuff like that.. That’s what we need with baby-friendly hospitals – having all that information in front of us, so that we can make…