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World Breastfeeding Week

Podgorica, August 1- 7, 2011 - On the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), the Ministry of Health and UNICEF will distribute copies of the fourth edition of Facts for Life, a co-publication of UNICEF and 7 UN agencies, to all maternity wards, schools for antenatal education, health centres and preschools in Montenegro. Some 15 million copies of previous three editions of Facts for life are in circulation worldwide in 215 languages empowering families and communities with life-saving knowledge about children since 1989.

This year, the celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week focuses on the significance of communication as a process of spreading information about the importance of breastfeeding that contributes to raising the percentage of mothers who exclusively breastfeed their babies during the first six months.

Jadranka Lakicevic, Deputy Minister of Health
''Breastfeeding is something that is of tremendous importance not only for the baby but also for the mother and the society as a whole. First of all, it is significant for the baby, because the baby receives all the necessary nutrients through the breast milk. In addition, it strengthens the child’s immune system, as the baby gets antibodies through the breast milk. Finally, a breast-feeding mother is better protected from many diseases and especially from some malignant ones like the breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of osteoporosis.''

Based on the key messages from the Facts for Life, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF produced educational promotional material consisting of four short movies and 14 leaflets for ante-natal education of parents last year. Dissemination of the Montenegrin translation of Facts for Life builds on these efforts to enable all parents in Montenegro to easily access reliable information on key issues related to early childhood development and parenting.

Jelena Perovic, Communication Officer, UNICEF
“Facts for Life contains the latest scientific knowledge and evidence-based answers to questions on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and nutrition, childhood illnesses, child development, parenting, protection, care and support of children. It is written in clear, easy-to-understand language, so that it can be effectively used by anyone.”

Experts at the school for antenatal education of parents in Podgorica emphasize the importance of becoming acquainted with the key facts about the early childhood development from the very beginning of parenthood, which means during pregnancy. One of the most important things that future mothers learn at the school for antenatal education is that they should start breastfeeding in the maternity ward during the first hour after delivery and that they should continue with exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months.

At the moment, about 20 parents are attending classes at the school for antenatal education in Podgorica. They are satisfied with the support and information that they receive in this way.

Marijana Rnic, School for Prenatal Education participant
‘’At the school for antenatal education, I have learned a lot of useful information and one of them is related to breastfeeding.  We learned that breastfeeding is quite significant for the babies in their first hours of life and that we should exclusively breastfeed during the first six months. I also think that it is useful for fathers to attend classes in the school for antenatal education, because the school provides parents with adequate psycho-physical preparation for  the childbirth.’’

According to the experts from the schools for antenatal education, more self-confident and informed parents will know how to take appropriate care and support children to become physically healthy, mentally alert and emotionally secure.



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