bearing gifts: Co-ordinator of the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) Janis Geraldine Sampson Hunte, left, presents a token to mother Khadija Laifook of Chaguanas who delivered her newborn Keeshaun yesterday.

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Treat for moms at Mt Hope

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Mothers warded at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital received surprise tokens yesterday as staff joined in to spread cheer on the welcoming of new bundles of joy to the world.
During the 4.30 p.m. visiting hour while family and friends were doting over the new babies, nursing staff visited the ward and gave tokens courtesy Huggies and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).
BFHI is a global strategy where all maternity hospitals and health centres help mothers go back to breastfeeding.
“Right now we are on the road to become baby friendly,” said BFHI co-ordinator Janis Geraldine Sampson Hunte.
Hunte explained that UNICEF and WHO came together to address ills associated with lack of breast feeding.
“This is a strategy to improve infant and young child feeding to ensure good health and to address eye disease, juvenile diabetes and high blood pressure in children,” said Hunte.
Twenty-two mothers received tokens and kind words of support and advice from staff.
Hunte urged mothers to utilise the hospital’s breast feeding programme which takes place at the hospital every second Tuesday monthly at 3 p.m to 5 p.m.
This programme educates mothers on breast feeding and assists mothers who are experiencing problems with breastfeeding.
“We also educate mothers who cannot breastfeed for one reason or the other,” said Hunte.
She explained some mothers cannot breastfeed because of the policy of Trinidad and Tobago Health Ministry whereby HIV mothers cannot breastfeed because of possible transmission of the virus to the newborn.
“We have a wonderful programme here where mothers are counselled by the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMCT) nurse on a one on one with utmost privacy and confidentiality,” said Hunte.
She said 98 to 99 per cent of babies remain negative as a result of this initiative.
“To curb the violence in schools we have to start in the cradle. When you don’t show these babies the love and attention they deserve it affects their development and they keep it in their psyche,” said Hunte.
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