World breast feeding week 2013 was observed by School of Public Health (SPH), PGIMER from 1st-7th August, 2013 at Sector 38 which is one of its field practice area. The celebration commenced on 03/08/2013 at the Anganwadi in Sector 38-A followed by another session on 05/08/13 at the Anganwadi in Sector 38 D. The theme for the breastfeeding week this year is “Breastfeeding support close to mothers” and our main target groups were women in reproductive age groups who had volunteered to be peer counsellors for breastfeeding in the community. The audience also included lactating and antenatal mothers.
A presentation on the importance and the need for exclusive breast feeding was made by Dr. Ravneet Kaur, Assistant Professor, SPH, PGIMER. The advantages of breast feeding to the mother like contraception and reduction in incidence of breast cancer were explained apart from the benefits to the baby like better cognitive development and growth, immunity, availability of nutrients and prevention of obesity when compared to bottle fed babies. The importance of colostrum as the first immunisation for the baby was also stressed. This was followed by a video presentation on the correct technique of breastfeeding presented by Dr. Jeyashree and Dr. Ajith, resident doctors in SPH, PGIMER. Around 25 women participated in the interactive discussion on the do’s and don’ts of breastfeeding which was moderated by ANM Mrs. Rupinder Kaur. The women actively participated in the discussion with questions and personal experiences. The session concluded with the distribution of healthy refreshments (banana and lassi) to emphasise the message of nutrition during lactation and pregnancy to promote successful breastfeeding.
On 06/08/2013, a health talk on breastfeeding was organised for the students of Post Graduate Government College of Girls, Sector 42-D, Chandigarh in collaboration with NRHM, Chandigarh. Dr Bhavneet Bharti, Associate Professor, Advanced Paediatric Centre, PGIMER delivered the talk. Dr. Ravneet, Dr. Jeyashree and Dr. Ajith from SPH, PGIMER and Dr. Narender Goswami, Child Health consultant from NRHM, Chandigarh was also present in the session. It was an interactive session which began with a question and answer session on myths and realities about breastfeeding. This was followed by a short lecture on benefits of breastfeeding when students were given case vignettes and probes to solve. Two batches of students, 120 each, from departments of Home science and Science participated enthusiastically with queries about breastfeeding.
On 07/08/13 the celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week concluded with a health talk in the UHTC, Sector 38. As it was the immunization clinic day, under five children and their mothers were present in the OPD and participated in the session. Dr. Harjeet, SMO, civil dispensary, Sector 38 and Dr. Ravneet from PGIMER delivered a brief presentation on breastfeeding and its benefits. Dr. Jeyashree and Dr. Ajith, resident doctors from PGIMER made a video presentation on the technique of breastfeeding. Two of the peer counsellors trained in our session in the Anganwadis was also present to share the knowledge that they had acquired during their training.