Funding Lactation Training and Breastfeeding in Developing Countries

We are so proud of the work we are doing in Congo and Rwanda and as November marks the start of the second trip we are involved with we wanted to take a moment to share it with our readers.

We are delighted to be supporting a new breast-feeding initiative, implemented by BirthLink, a UK registered charitable organization, whose aim is to improve maternal and new-born healthcare in developing countries.
Birthlink workshop

The first trip we funded in July this year involved a two-day lactation workshop to nursing and medical staff caring for sick and premature babies in neonatal units in both these areas of Africa. The workshop provided staff with practical skills and knowledge, they need to support their mothers toinitiate and maintain lactation, with the ultimate goal of their babies being discharged exclusively breastfeeding.

Birthlink Workshop
Birthlink Workshop

Birthlink currently support three hospitals in Rwanda, two of which already have breast-feeding rooms. The funding we gave also enabled them to set up a final unit with a fully functioning breast-feeding room, containing the equipment and educational tools required to support the mothers and their babies.

During the first visit BirthlinkUK met Faida and her baby Joyce. Joyce was weighing just 1000g – the team supported Faida, educated her and the staff helping her on correct latch and position so she could initiate breastfeeding and boost her supply – they also showed her how to use our Harmony breastpump. All this support worked – on a follow up trip in August the founder of BirthlinkUK saw Faida again, Joyce was weighing a healthy 3200g and was planning on leaving the hospital.  Joyce would simply not have survived without this education, support and a breastpump.

Birthlink Workshop
Birthlink Workshop

Talking about our decision to support the project our Managing Director said:

“In the UK, and for much of the world, it is every mothers rite to choose whether to breastfeed or not, but for the mothers that Birthlink work with it is very different.  In Rwanda and the Congo there is no choice, either breastfeed or risk your baby being very poorly. However these vulnerable mothers and babies face many challenges and have limited knowledge or access to support.

At Medela we are committed to supporting each and every breastfeeding mother during their individual breastfeeding experience and so when we learnt of the struggles mothers in these developing countries are facing, and the work Birthlink are doing, we were eager to get involved.