Name of the activity: World Breastfeeding Week 2018

Country/NMO: India (MSAI)

Program: Maternal Health & Access to Safe Abortion

Contact information: [email protected] and +919821328152

Type of the activity: Education. Education on health issues for specific societal groups, either in the form of projects (set of tasks for a certain group over a fixed period of time), events (something notable that happens) or conferences (form meeting about ideas related to a particular topic, usually over several days).

General description:

WBW was launched in Aug 2018. The target population was women at ANC and PNC clinics. The event consisted of first, filling out a pre-event questionnaire by the women. Then, volunteers begin by talking about proper breastfeeding practices, including busting myths about the same. This part of the session is interactive with the goal of answering all possible questions the women might have. This year, we felt the need to introduce components on milk banks and breast pumps to make our content more inclusive for those women who might not be able to produce breast milk or those who do not have maternity leave. This was followed by a post-event questionnaire to aid us in our quantitative evaluation. We have had 49 such events across the country and have reached 2056 women in ANC and PNC clinics and wards.

Focus area:

Breastfeeding

Problem statement:

India ranks low among countries in breastfeeding practices. Very few women are able to breastfeed within one hour of delivery. Breastfeeding in the 1st hour prevents newborn deaths, especially due to pneumonia and diarrhea. If we universalized breastfeeding, we could reduce under-5 deaths, obesity, diabetes and breast cancer mortality, add to our economy and IQ points to children. By becoming a breastfeeding nation we can achieve the SDG targets for health, nutrition, education, and poverty.

Target groups:

General population, Women

Beneficiaries:

General population, Children, Women

Objectives and indicators of success:

Objective (O): To strongly advocate for exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of age to both ANC and PNC patients

Indicator (I): More than 50% women have understood the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months

O: To strongly advocate for breastfeeding within the first hour of delivery to ANC patients to confer immediate immunity to the child

I: More than 50% women have understood the importance of breastfeeding within 1 hour of delivery

O: To strongly advocate for breastfeeding with the aim of reducing future morbidities that could be prevented by breastfeeding

I: More than 50% women have understood the importance of feeding their child colostrum

I: More than 50% women know the benefits of breastfeeding on both maternal and child health

O: To raise awareness about lactation counsellors and milk banks to make the breastfeeding inclusive for those women who cannot produce their own milk.

I: More than 50% women learn about milk banks

O: To introduce options such as breast pumps to women who will not be able to take maternity leave

I: More than 50% women learn about breast pumps

Methodology:

Event organisers brief the volunteers about the information to be disseminated to women in the hospital wards. Then, the participants go to the hospital wards (both ANC & PNC) and talk to them either by addressing them in a large group or by breaking up into small groups. Before and after talking to a woman in the ward, volunteers ask them questions and fill up the pre and post event questionnaires that they have been provided with. The participants should make the women feel comfortable, answer their doubts, clear misconceptions they might have and encourage proper breastfeeding practices.

Plans for evaluation:

We plan to evaluate it with a quantitative evaluation of the responses of a simple pre and post event questionnaire that asks yes/no type of questions. Apart from this, for self evaluation by the event organisers, we have pre and post event forms where they fill in their individual goals and objectives of the event, positive and negative aspects of the event, and other feedback for the National Team.