By Azoura Diguera
This World Breastfeeding Week, observed from 1 to 7 August 2017, UNICEF Chad and its partners join hands to highlight the importance of breastfeeding for every child. On this occasion, meet 5 superwomen who are providing their children with the healthiest start in life.
« Bachar is my 4th child and he is healthy because my milk contains essential vitamins for his well-being. I do take my time to breastfeed him because he needs this to grow up healthy”. Achta Alkhali, 26 and Bachar, 3 months. Ati.
« During breastfeeding, my son tickles and plays but it is a wonderful feeling that I recommend to any new mom. I like watching him jiggling while in my arms as that means he really enjoys my milk » Kande Kaneram, 23 years old and Abdou, 1 year. Displaced people Site of Kadoulou, Lake Chad region”.
« My husband was supportive and encouraged me to breastfeed my first child. Unfortunately, he died 3 days after I gave birth to my second baby. I have tried to overcome the loss and continued breastfeeding my baby girl. I really enjoy it and think it is important to share.” Fatime Adiya, 22 years old and Jemima, 2 months. Mayo Kebbi region.
« My son loves his mother’s milk, so he always closes his eyes when he drinks it. I can feel he is very joyful and I can assure you this is one of the positive effects of breastfeeding, » Halime Hassan, 20 years old and Abakar, 6 months. Bouguirmi island, Lake Chad region.
« I was told that with breastfeeding, mothers share elements of their immune system, which provides babies with a protective umbrella. Also, by breastfeeding my son, I pass on my intelligence because I know that breastfeeding increases the I.Q of a baby by 3 to 4 points”. Victorine Kanimbaye, 18 years old, and Elvis, 4 months. Moundou
According to the 2016 SMART study, only 7,3 % of breastfeeding mothers are practicing exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months. This represents only 79,134 women among a population of 1,084,632.
Children younger than 6 months old who are breastfed exclusively for longer periods have lower rates of infectious disease and death than children who are breastfed for shorter periods or who are not breastfed.
The benefits of breastfeeding for children and their mothers have the power to improve a country’s prosperity with lower health care costs. Yet, breastfeeding is not just a one-woman job. It requires encouragement and support from skilled counsellors, family members, health care providers, and decision-makers.