Hospiten provides information and offers families the help of specialized staff to promote successful breastfeeding that could save up to 800,000 lives a year in children under six months.
The Hospiten group joins the celebration of Breastfeeding Week - this year with the slogan "Let's empower ourselves. Let's make breastfeeding possible!" This is a claim that has been made in 120 countries every year since 1990, the year in which the Innocenti Declaration was approved by governments, the WHO and UNICEF, among other organizations, to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Hospiten encourages the practice, which has great benefits for both the mother and the baby. “We provide information and offer families the help of the nursing staff specialized in the subject and we are fully involved in ensuring breastfeeding is successful. Currently, 82.28% of newborns born in our hospital are exclusively breastfed at discharge”, explains Hospiten Sur midwife, Lina Esther Eligio.
Breastfeeding can prevent childhood leukemia, as well as other infectious and chronic diseases, and is especially important in the case of premature babies, since it prevents the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious intestinal condition. In fact, the WHO says the increase in breastfeeding could save 800,000 lives a year in children under six months. Furthermore, breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease in mothers explained Ms. Eligio.
The Hospiten midwife says that for about seven years the way in which health workers introduce the mother and the baby to breastfeeding has changed. “Before the newborn was taken to the nursery straightaway, but not anymore. For some time now, UNICEF and the WHO have recommended that the baby not be separated from the mother so she can breastfeed the baby in the first hour of life”, says Ms. Eligio. In addition, she insists on avoiding the use of teats and bottles in the first month of life at least. “It is important that there be no confusion, because the suction is different and, if teats are introduced, it can make breastfeeding difficult,” she explains.
Although there are numerous, very different recommendations regarding breastfeeding, the World Health Organization is clear on the way and time in which to breastfeed: exclusively up to six months and combining breast milk with other foods until two years at least. "People think that breast milk loses properties over time, but it's not true", says the midwife. "The truth is that it adapts to the baby’s demands for energy, and is the most complete food from the nutritional point of view that exists". And she adds that, despite all the theories, the best thing for the baby is to breastfeed on demand and without thinking about the time.
Hospiten Group is an international health network committed to providing top quality services, with 50 years of experience, which has twenty private medical-hospital centers in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, and more than one hundred outpatient centers, under the brand Clinic Assist. The group is chaired by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella and annually serves more than 1,700,000 patients from all over the world, and has a workforce of more than 5,000 people.