Government pledges support for breastfeeding
There needs to be consensus on breastfeeding policy, says the Minister of Health.
There should be a general consensus on creating policies on breastfeeding in South Africa, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said on Monday.
Speaking at a two-day breastfeeding summit in Centurion, Motsoaledi said the increasing child mortality in the country was ‘disturbing’.
‘We need to reposition, protect and support breastfeeding
as a key child survival strategy in South Africa,’ he said.
Motsoaledi said the country had a low prevalence of breastfeeding and this was caused by among others the ‘aggressive and deadly’ promotion of infant formula milk
and misconceptions that breastfeeding was a sign of poverty.
He said this ‘propaganda’ destroyed communities like skin lightening creams which were pushed onto black communities.
He said the summit should thoroughly discuss why many women have neglected what was done religiously in the past and promoted culturally.
One way to ensure mothers revert back to breast feeding would be to obtain infant feeding formula on prescription from doctors under strict conditions, said Motsoaledi.
The working environment also needed to change in favour of breastfeeding
, he said.Is there enough support for breastfeeding moms?