August 24, 2017

"More needs to be done to ensure working mothers are able to breastfeed their children"

Nancy has three children and two of them have been to day care

Photo credit: Tiny Totos

This week Theirworld is looking at the caregivers who help children under the age of five to grow and develop - today we talk to two mothers about breastfeeding and other issues.

Every child in the world deserves to fulfil their potential. That means giving them quality care and nurturing in the crucial first few years of their life.

By the time a child reaches five years old, 90% of their brain has already developed. During that time, they need access to quality care, including the five vital areas of nutrition, health, learning, play and protection.

That’s why Theirworld’s #5for5 campaign is calling on leaders to help make early childhood development a top priority.

Caregivers - including parents and family - have a key role to play. In a special series this week, Theirworld talks to caregivers about the challenges and the joys of giving children the best start in life.

Nancy Auma Otingi, mother of three

I have three children and two of them - aged two and one - are in day care. The first child, aged 11, didn’t go through daycare.

I am a junior school teacher who works 12 hours a day. I have been taking my children to a day care in Nairobi, Kenya, managed by Tiny Totos for over two years now.

I used to go to a different place but changed because my child kept falling sick due to malnutrition, suffered bronchitis and even sustained burns due to recklessness.

Here at Victorious I pay 100 shillings per child and I am assured of the safety and good care for the children. All parents should take their children to day cares managed by Tiny Totos. They are the best.

My daughter Susan’s life improved once I started bringing her here. She was not eating at the previous place but here she is getting healthier by the day. Tiny Totos day cares even teach you what to feed your child to aid in their nutrition.

Early childhood development is about developing a child socially, emotionally and spiritually, which is very important in their lives and wellbeing. It teaches the child how to interact with others as they get older.

After work I get time to interact with my youngest and we sing the songs they learn at school.

I used to feed my child over lunch hour then in the evening after work, which was not enough.

Nancy Auma Otingi

Breastfeeding is very important for a young child because there are some nutrients which the child cannot get from other foods.

However, more needs to be done to ensure working mothers are able to breastfeed their children. I wasn’t consistent with the breastfeeding because of work. I used to feed my child over lunch hour then in the evening after work, which was not enough.

The government should come up with a policy to ensure mothers are given time to breastfeed their children. The bosses at work should be considerate to that fact.

As a parent, I would like to learn more about how to raise up a child. There is no difference between raising a child in the slums or in urban areas, provided they are raised well and taught discipline. 

The children are the same - it is the parents who are different.

Mothers should communicate more with their children when they are young. Teach them and they will learn from an early age.

Children who pass through day care know well how to socialise, they are kind, articulate and have muscle and brain development.

Maureen is mother to eight-month-old Ramos Shem

Photo credit: Baba Dogo Healthcare Clinic

Maureen Munisi, mother of one

My son is called Ramos Shem and he is eight months old. I brought him to the Baba Dogo Healthcare Clinic in Nairobi, Kenya, to be weighed.

The doctors here teach us how to bring up our children well. They teach us about breastfeeding, normal feeding and cleanliness. 

She has been taught that mother’s milk is best because it helps in the growth of the child. Also to wash her hands before and after a nappy change.

At home my daily routine includes laundry and cleaning when Ramos is asleep, as well as preparing his porridge. After he wakes up I play with him using his toys. 

Ramos is too young for day care centres. But if I could find some work I would consider taking him to a day care where he would be well taken care of.

Also in The Caregivers series

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