Home Visiting nurses are reaching every little baby to be exclusively breastfeed

Marking of breastfeeding week.

A mother breastfeeding her baby.
02 October 2019

“I was trying so hard to breastfeed my newborn, but the pain was unbearable. After breastfeeding my first child I thought the process was going to be the same and easy going, but it wasn’t. Thanks to the nurses that visited me as part of the Home Visiting Program, I didn’t give up on breastfeeding my baby Yllka” said Hyrijeta, mother of baby Yllka.  Seven months old Yllka has now been visited 3 times by the nurses of Family Health Center in Hani i Elezit. Nurses visited Yllka for the first time when she was only one week old, slowly sucking chamomile tea from a small bottle that her mother was trying to feed her with. Hyrijeta, Yllka’s mother, having birthed Yllka through Cesarean Section recently, was feeling pain and tiredness.  

After the operation, Hyrijeta was unable to move freely, rendering her unable to provide the best care possible to her baby. Because of the position that mother Hyrijeta was forced to keep due to the pain she felt, Yllka wasn’t being breastfed. In addition, Hyrijeta didn’t have enough milk due to the medication she was taking following her operation. The excruciating pain she felt when she attempted to breastfeed her baby girl and the lack of milk is what drove her to make the decision that she would give up on breastfeeding Yllka and switch to feeding her with a bottle. 

“We were in luck that we came to visit Hyrijeta at the beginning of her motherhood. After hearing out her concerns and understanding her pain we were urging her to continue breastfeeding by listing the pros and cons of breastfeeding baby”, said nurse Selvete. 

Hyrijeta received invaluable advice from the nurses. They suggested that she starts with breast massage, both by demonstrating to her how it is done and explaining to her in what ways it will help alleviate the pain while easing the flow of milk. The nurses further helped Hyrijeta with her insufficient breast milk production by suggesting a healthy diet and fluid intake increase plan. They also imparted many practical and helpful methods how to make breastfeeding easier and positions how to hold the breast to decrease pain and increase milk flow.  

Now, Yllka is 7 months old and her mommy is breastfeeding. She weighs 11 kilograms. Yllka was able to grow being breastfed because of the patience and lessons that the nurses so kindly shared with Hyrijeta during their Home Visits. These small but very important changes are made thanks to the hard work of the nurses as part of the Home Visiting Programme. During the period of 2015–2018, in 16 municipalities, over 20,873 children under 3 years of age and 5,655 pregnant women were provided with comprehensive young child well-being services through 35,036 home visits (2,018 among Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities). In 2020, we are expanding the home visiting programme in additional 5 municipalities. The vision is to expand the home visiting programme in whole Kosovo. 


Home Visiting nurse in Hani i Elezit during her visit.
A home visiting nurse conducting her regular checkups to little Yllka in Hani i Elezit.

‘Home Visits’ is a program of the Ministry of Health, supported by UNICEF with the Funds from the Government of Luxembourg.  It is implemented by Action for Mothers and Children, aiming at providing home-based services in Kosovo municipalities as an approach to further improve the health and well-being of children by building trust between nurses and the community for a better family medicine system. Home visits help families identify newborn problems, including signs of illness and at the same time support the practices of breastfeeding, vaccinations, by also contributing to the child’s growth and development in order to achieve the full potential of the child. With the home visiting programme, our overall goal is to increase the knowledge of health professionals, pregnant women and parents in antenatal care, postpartum care, postnatal depression and early childhood development.