Breastfeeding Challenges for Ghanaian Women: Striving for Support

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Common breastfeeding issues
Image Credit: Younesse Bourrich/Wikimedia Commons

Ghana grapples with ensuring adequate support for women to sustain breastfeeding. The quest for improved practices raises questions about the nation’s progress in nurturing breastfeeding culture.

A recent Twitter video by the United Nations World Food Programme spotlighted the economic merits of breastfeeding, igniting discussions on its manifold benefits. Colostrum, the initial sustenance infants receive, acts as a protective shield, reducing mortality risk by 44%. For mothers, breastfeeding forms a bond and curbs cancer risks. These advantages underscore the importance of breastfeeding for society’s prosperity and resilience.

However, Ghanaian women face hurdles in adhering to the recommended six-month breastfeeding period. Short maternity leaves, lack of workplace lactation spaces, and inadequate hospital education impede their efforts. Insights from interviews with three women – Mavis, Linda, and Bernice – reveal their experiences.

Mavis finds breastfeeding publically accepted but acknowledges initial unease. Linda, with three months of maternity leave, stresses the struggle for six-month breastfeeding, juggling work and feeding times. Bernice’s challenges extend to expressing milk at work due to the absence of a proper space, affecting her productivity.

Despite societal support for public breastfeeding, workplace support and longer maternity leaves remain crucial. The women advocate for extended maternity leave and designated lactation areas. Their experiences highlight the need for a comprehensive approach, encompassing education, workplaces, and policy adjustments.
Re-reported from the article originally published in Global Voices

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Breastfeeding Challenges for Ghanaian Women: Striving for Support

Common breastfeeding issues
Image Credit: Younesse Bourrich/Wikimedia Commons

Ghana grapples with ensuring adequate support for women to sustain breastfeeding. The quest for improved practices raises questions about the nation’s progress in nurturing breastfeeding culture.

A recent Twitter video by the United Nations World Food Programme spotlighted the economic merits of breastfeeding, igniting discussions on its manifold benefits. Colostrum, the initial sustenance infants receive, acts as a protective shield, reducing mortality risk by 44%. For mothers, breastfeeding forms a bond and curbs cancer risks. These advantages underscore the importance of breastfeeding for society’s prosperity and resilience.

However, Ghanaian women face hurdles in adhering to the recommended six-month breastfeeding period. Short maternity leaves, lack of workplace lactation spaces, and inadequate hospital education impede their efforts. Insights from interviews with three women – Mavis, Linda, and Bernice – reveal their experiences.

Mavis finds breastfeeding publically accepted but acknowledges initial unease. Linda, with three months of maternity leave, stresses the struggle for six-month breastfeeding, juggling work and feeding times. Bernice’s challenges extend to expressing milk at work due to the absence of a proper space, affecting her productivity.

Despite societal support for public breastfeeding, workplace support and longer maternity leaves remain crucial. The women advocate for extended maternity leave and designated lactation areas. Their experiences highlight the need for a comprehensive approach, encompassing education, workplaces, and policy adjustments.
Re-reported from the article originally published in Global Voices