Zainab Kamara, supported by her mother, breastfeeds one of her twin sons, 3-month-old Alhassan Cargo, in Karineh Village in Magbema Chiefdom, Kambia District.
Breastmilk Only – The Healthiest Start for Babies
Public health professionals know that breastmilk is the healthiest and best source of nutrition for the first six months of a baby’s life. In developing countries, where sanitation and food supplies can be problematic, it is also the safest source. Breastmilk is a baby’s first vaccine, protecting babies from disease and increasing their chances of survival.
Breastfeeding reinforces the emotional bond between mother and baby. It stimulates both brain and body development. When we give breastmilk alone, on-demand, with nothing else, the baby is healthy, smarter and stronger… But widespread misinformation from both health workers and corporations dissuade mothers from breastfeeding even when they’re able to. PCI Media and UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office have recently launched an exciting new project promoting a regional campaign to reach every community with the message: Breastmilk Only for the First Six Months of Life.
The program will help counter the prevalent myth in West Africa that giving babies water will increase their strength and improve their chances of survival.
- Water has no nutritional value and can put a baby’s life in danger,
- Babies who are given water tend to be undernourished,
- Water may be contaminated and cause infections and life-threatening conditions like diarrhea or respiratory diseases.
Promotional social media creative for ‘Stronger With Breastmilk Only’ campaign.
In this campaign, we are using the power of broadcast media, social media and community mobilization to dispel the myths, counter the adverse corporate messaging and urge parents, grandparents, health care workers, leaders, and entire communities in the region to get on board the campaign as a way to give children the strongest and healthiest start to life.