Breastfeeding is a free, amazing source of nutrition. But as any new mom can attest, it can also be complicated, even under the best circumstances, and some are unable. So when lives are disrupted by conflict and disasters, experts say it’s worth an extra effort to support breastfeeding mothers.
After Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013, many mothers told World Vision staff they were too stressed to breastfeed and instead gave their babies water to fill them up and quiet them. Without vital nutritional knowledge, their infants were at risk of malnutrition from diarrhea. These vulnerable moms needed a safe place to get support and education.
For months after the typhoon, Susana gathered with other women daily at a World Vision-sponsored Women and Young Children Space for a quiet time where their toddlers could play and moms could breastfeed.
"My child is happy to come here. There are toys for the children to play with. This is a safe space. Here I get talk to other women going through the same issues as me,” said Susana.
“After the typhoon we have so much to do to set our home. Here I got to know that we need to breastfeed my child properly so that she is healthy. We got a breastfeed kit from World Vision so that I can provide better care for my child."
While they are nursing or changing diapers, mothers heard from health workers about the importance of de-worming for children, pre- and post-natal health care, issues of gender-based violence, and other health and nutrition-related topics.
Photo©2013 World Vision, Annila Harris
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