I recently heard from a woman involved in the relief efforts in Haiti. Susannah Masur, the Communications Officer for the organization Action Against Hunger, writes how the organization currently supports breastfeeding in Haiti:
My organization, Action Against Hunger, has set up makeshift tents in battered neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince to provide mothers and their infants with a safe environment for breastfeeding, as well as medical, nutritional, and psychological support.
She shared the link to a UNICEF video on the baby tents. The video is quite informative about the myths surrounding breastfeeding after a disaster such as the earthquake, the importance of breastfeeding in an emergency, and the danger of formula-feeding, particularly with unsafe water. Have a hanky ready, and check out the video:
UNICEF reports that there are 12 such baby tents in Haiti right now. The article highlights exactly how valuable those tents are to mothers and babies in Haiti:
Anastasia Saint Joseph, 19, gave birth 12 days after the 12 January earthquake. Her home in Port-au-Prince was destroyed and she’s now living under a plastic sheet with a dozen family members, in one of the city’s many temporary housing camps. She’s been coming to the baby tent for the past three days.
“I came here because they offered me nutritional advice for my two children,” said Anastasia. “I didn’t breastfeed my first child, so they taught me how to do it for my second. They taught me that if I breastfeed my baby girl exclusively for the first six months, it will help her stay healthy.”
For more information on Action Against Hunger, visit the website www.actionagainsthunger.org.