ENEWSLETTER - August 2015
Enat holds 6-month-old Habtamu in her backyard. She exclusively breastfed him for the first six months of his life
after learning about the benefits of breastfeeding.
Ethiopian Mother Spreads Awareness
on Importance of Breastfeeding
In the western world, we understand the nutritional importance of breastfeeding children, but this is not something that is known or understood worldwide, especially in impoverished communities.
In several areas where Food for the Hungry (FH) works, the rate of mothers that exclusively breastfed for the first six months was much smaller than it should be. FH’s communities in Ethiopia only had a breastfeeding rate of 65.7 percent. However, after community mother’s participated in training programs, that rose to 91.8 percent.
One such mother is Enat Abebe. Enat is a 30-year-old mother of five who lives in an area called Tach Gayint. She joined FH programming when she was pregnant with her son Habtamu, who is now six months old.
All of her other four children were delivered at home and fed fresh butter and/or porridge right after birth on the belief that it softens their stool and opens up the baby’s intestine They were also fed with different semi-solid foods before the age of six months. This was mainly due to lack of knowledge about the importance of early breastfeeding and the consequences of complementary feeding before the age of six months.
After joining the voluntary care group, she received monthly training on the right type and amount of food for pregnant mothers, the benefits of medical follow up and delivery at health facilities, the benefits of colostrum feeding (the first milk produced by a mother after labor) within an hour of birth, and exclusive breastfeeding.
Equipped with the awareness she acquired through the care training, Enat took a different approach with Habtamu. She received prenatal care, delivered him in a professional health institution and exclusively breastfed him until he recently turned six months old.
After seeing the positive effects breastfeeding and other nutritional practices have had on her youngest son, Enat has made a point to spread the knowledge she learned from FH. She is now cascading the lessons she learned to other pregnant and lactating mothers under her mother-to-mother group in her village on monthly basis.
This involves her speaking to groups of mothers and teaching them about the knowledge she received. Those mothers are then better able to look after their children and spread that knowledge onto even more community moms.
Thanks to friends and sponsors like you, mothers like Enat gain knowledge, skills and confidence to make big steps toward improving their children’s health. You’re helping to improve the lives of mothers and young children around the globe.
Sponsored children like Habtamu are able to receive better treatment in the vital early stages of life and mothers have access to education and training that equip them to better meet the needs of their young children.
Model mothers receive certificates after completing FH’s training program.
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