By: By Yusli Harini, Health Team Leader
Breastfeeding is one of the most invaluable investments for improving maternal and child health while preventing infant malnutrition, recognized by the World Health Organization as crucial for proper growth and development, with a recommended duration of up to 2 years. However, the path to successful breastfeeding is not without challenges. Many mothers struggle to breastfeed optimally, often due to inadequate support from their families and environments, which can ultimately lead to malnutrition in their infants.
At EBPP, our 5-year malnutrition study, "Developing a Family-Based Nutrition Intervention Model in Ban Village," in collaboration with Udayana University, focuses on addressing infant malnutrition through a family approach method. We've designed interventions to support breastfeeding mothers, involving their husbands and in-laws, who also play a significant role in maternal and child health decisions. This three-stage, three-month program equips families with a comprehensive understanding of health and nutrition to promote optimal breastfeeding practices. Topics include a balanced diet for breastfeeding mothers (emphasizing local foods and the food pyramid), the importance of exclusive breastfeeding along with complementary foods, and monitoring child growth and development. Each meeting underscores the critical role of family support in ensuring successful breastfeeding, using engaging EMO-DEMO activities for better understanding.
Successful breastfeeding requires accurate information and strong support, creating an environment conducive to optimal breastfeeding. While the decision to breastfeed rests with the mother, robust support from family and community significantly enhances the likelihood of successful breastfeeding. This effort is pivotal in the pursuit of maternal and child health, ultimately contributing to the eradication of infant malnutrition.