Breastfeeding: The Best Start in Life

03 April 2019
Mother and her baby
UNICEF Serbia/Bicanski

Belgrade, 3 April 2019 - Within the National Breastfeeding Support Program, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia to implement activities aimed at promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

Two-day seminars for health workers from maternity wards and primary health centres are being organised in Novi Sad, Belgrade, Kragujevac and Nis.

Seminars, designed following the "WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Training Materials", are intended for gynaecologists, paediatricians, obstetric, paediatric and visiting nurses from primary health centres and maternity wards.

The goal of these educational activities is to empower health workers to create supportive conditions for the successful start and implementation of breastfeeding, as breast milk is the best food for a newborn. 

The education cycle started in Belgrade, with a training which encompassed 64 health workers from 10 maternity hospitals and primary health centres from Pozarevac, Valjevo, Sabac, and Belgrade.

For the Vojvodina region, educational activities were conducted at the Clinical Centre of Vojvodina. The training was attended by doctors and nurses from Sombor, Subotica, Zrenjanin and Novi Sad, and with the active participation of Doc. Dr Anita Pavišić Bošnjak, a paediatrician/neonatologist from Croatia.

It is expected that these seminars will lead to skin-to-skin contact being supported for every mother and baby for at least one hour following delivery, regardless of whether it was a natural delivery or a caesarean delivery.

Skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery, calms the mother and child, helps them bond and encourages the start of breastfeeding.

One of the goals of the seminar is to encourage maternity wards in Serbia to create conditions that will allow mothers and babies to stay in the same room and to allow for the active involvement of fathers or other people, at the mother’s request.

UNICEF will continue this type of support to the health care system in 2020, encompassing health workers in all maternity hospitals and primary health centres in Serbia.

To ensure the sustainability of the breastfeeding education process, in 2020, online modules will be available to employees in healthcare institutions.

Media Contacts

Jadranka Milanovic

Communication Officer

UNICEF Serbia

Tel: + 381 11 3602 104

Tel: +381 63 336 283

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