Breastfeeding rates on the decline

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has disclosed that breastfeeding rates are declining in Saint Lucia every year.

The disclosure comes as the Island prepares to observe World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7, 2017.

Nutrition Officer in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Maryanna Phillip, told the Ministry’s Communications Unit that every year breastfeeding rates are going down.

Phillip said this was especially true of  exclusive breastfeeding where mothers are expected to breast feed alone for the first six months after the birth of a child.

She noted that the ministry has embarked on a campaign to raise awareness of the need to breast feed infants.

The Nutrition Officer said that breastfeeding benefits the baby and mother.

“It helps the mother’s womb, especially the uterus, to return to the normal size quickly,” Phillips stated.

She added that when the infant consumes breast milk, money that would be spent on infant formula is saved.

Phillips has urged mothers to disregard the stigma associated with breastfeeding and continue the practice.

“There is a stigma among young mothers that when they breast feed their babies, their breasts are going to sag and we want to tell them that is not so. All they have to do is support their breasts during pregnancy with good supportive bras,” the Health and Wellness Ministry official asserted.

She appealed to mothers, especially young mothers, to breast feed their babies.

It was explained that  breast milk is highly nutritious with easy-to-digest proteins and natural ingredients that protect babies against disease and infection.

Colostrum, the milk that mothers produce in the first days after birth, is not only dense in nutrients, but is also rich in antibodies that protect babies from bacteria and viruses that cause infection, it was observed.

 On Friday June 9th, the Ministry of Health and Wellness hosted its first of several education campaigns in the North of island to promote the importance of breastfeeding for infant nutrition and health. 

Phillips was one of the facilitators.



  1. Anonymous
    June 12, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Wonderful report Mrs Philip and I commend you for your efforts in encouraging mothers to breast feed.
    Non the less, I do think that I understand and can identify with you when you speak of the decline in the breass feeding especially breastfeeding exclusively rating.
    You see I also just had a baby. And my intentions was to exclusively breast feed for 6 months as recommended. However, I am a working mom and had to go back to work. So there went my plan of the window.

    And no it wasn’t possible. First of all the way that businesses run or facilities are designed. They don’t have private areas where you can express. The only private place is the toilet….which is unsuitable for this. As a result my milk supply slowly dwindled. I was not able to meet his demands for the day.
    So unfortunately I had to resort to formula.
    Like with many other mothers this is one of the complaints.

    A recommendation. Government or whoever makes the laws should extend maternity leave so that mothers can spend more time to exclusively breastfeed.
    Wonderful article.
    Mothers. …breastfeeding is best!!

  2. ....
    June 12, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    While I am pro breast feeding for the purpose of bonding. I much prefer pumping. Coming from experience, my second child refused to drink from a bottle no matter how hungry she got, upon my return to work. It was a difficult task but I was fortunate enough, to be able take extended leave until she finally took a bottle after trying tons of different bottles and teats.

  3. Anonymous
    June 12, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    How long should my response be because I did make a post but didn’t see it

    1. Anonymous
      June 12, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Well, as the song says: There must be something fishy going on! I, too, have posted comments that have not been published. But I put it down to technical errors. But I am monitoring the situation.

  4. Reality
    June 12, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Breastfeeding is best from my experience I have two kids and the first did for a year and a half.the second for Two years after being born premature and it really did help them fight colds.breastfeeding also helps fight different infections that babies are sensitive to.on the other hand my breast didn’t stay as straight as they were but still are sexy to my husband’s eyes and mine.breastfeeding without eating right do sag the breasts.something else no matter how straight the breast is whether you have kids or not it will never be the same with age so what is the choice a healthy baby with sag breast or a sick baby and the breast will still sag.

    1. smh
      June 13, 2017 at 10:33 am

      I dont think the issue is always about sagging breasts. When you are a working mum it differs.

      1. Anonymous
        June 13, 2017 at 5:10 pm

        Yes i do agree with you smh…but alot of mothers do say that they don’t want to breastfeed because they don’t want their breast to fall

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