UNICEF promotes optimal infant and young child feeding practices

More than 850 health centers and 50 mobile teams to provide caregivers across Syria with the needed guidance to correctly feed their young children.

UNICEF
a baby
UNICEF/Syria2019/Muhannad Al-Asadi

05 August 2019

Damascus, Syria, 4 August 2019 - Optimal infant and young child feeding practices, especially breastfeeding, are linked to improving children’s survival. The initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and the introduction of nutritionally-adequate and safe complementary foods at six months and up to two years of age all have a decisive impact on children’s lifelong health and wellbeing.

Two children with a woman
UNICEF/Syria2019/Muhannad Al-Asadi
Khalil, 1, with his mother, Maryam, attend an awareness session on optimal infant and young child feeding practices at a UNICEF-supported clinic in Damascus. “Breastfeeding helped my children grow healthy, and created a strong bond between us,” says Maryam.
doctor with a child
UNICEF/Syria2019/Muhannad Al-Asadi
Layan, 9 months, receives her regular medical checkup after her mother, Nazliah, attended an awareness session on optimal infant and young child feeding practices at a UNICEF-supported clinic in Damascus.
 a baby
UNICEF/Syria2019/Muhannad Al-Asadi
Layan, 9 months, with her mother, Nazlieh, attend an awareness session on optimal infant and young child feeding practices at a UNICEF-supported clinic in Damascus. “Breast milk is not merely a supply of nutrients, it’s also a supply of love!” she says.

“Breast milk is not merely a supply of nutrients, it’s also a supply of love!”

Nazlieh
pregnant woman reading a brochure
UNICEF/Syria2019/Muhannad Al-Asadi
Hunada, 35, in her ninth month of pregnancy, checks an educational brochure she received during an awareness session on optimal infant and young child feeding practices at a UNICEF-supported clinic in Damascus. “Breastmilk is far better than baby formula; it’s a full package of support for nutrition, immunity, and love of course!”
a baby in a woman's lap
UNICEF/Syria2019/Muhannad Al-Asadi
Ibrahim, 9 months, is curious about the educational brochure handed to his mother, Farah, during an awareness session on optimal infant and young child feeding practices at a UNICEF-supported clinic in Damascus. “Breastfeeding is great; it strengthens my child’s immune system and brings us closer to each other,” says Farah.

“Breastfeeding is great; it strengthens my child’s immune system and brings us closer to each other,”

Farah

To breastfeed, mothers need appropriate support, advice, encouragement, and practical assistance. This is what UNICEF is doing through its support for more than 850 health centers and 50 mobile teams to provide caregivers across Syria with the needed guidance to correctly feed their young children.

With thanks to the Office of U.S Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the Department for International Development (DFID), the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Japan, Luxembourg, and the Syrian Humanitarian Fund (SHF), , and Syrian Humanitarian Fund (SHF), over 142,400 caregivers across Syria, including pregnant and lactating women, have been reached with consultation and awareness sessions on recommended infant and child feeding practices since the beginning of 2019.