In the first week of August, East-Tallinn Central Hospital will join the rest of the world in marking World Breastfeeding Week.

3. August 2016

In the first week of August, East-Tallinn Central Hospital will join the rest of the world in marking World Breastfeeding Week. This year, Breastfeeding Week will highlight the importance of getting a head start in life and the value of caring about one another and the world in which we live.

In 2008, East-Tallinn Central Hospital was the winner of the title of most infant-friendly hospital, awarded by UNICEF. The hospital’s midwives have been awarded Midwife of the Year titles on several occasions, and new mothers can seek out the nursing counselling office on weekdays.

The East-Tallinn Central Hospital’s Maternity Clinic is a supporter of natural methods of infant nursing. Human breast milk is the optimum food for infant growth and nourishment and strengthens the immune system. Nursing is also good for women's health, helping to reduce instances of mammary gland tumours and diabetes and cutting the risk of heart and circulatory diseases.

“Breastfeeding isn’t just about feeding children. Everything associated with breast milk and a close mother-child bond is the best and most well-rounded way to prepare a child for life,” says midwife and lactation counsellor Ada Vantrik. “Viewing nursing solely as eating just adds incentive for infant formula manufacturers.” Yet it has been scientifically proven that even the best formula can never be as good as breast milk and nursing. Changing attitudes and setting priorities in place has to occur with constant cooperation between families and medical staff. During World Breastfeeding Week, talking about nursing will remind us all of the actual priorities for making healthy choices right from the start of life,” says Vahtrik.

To underscore the importance of breastfeeding, East-Tallinn Central Hospital is offering a series of family school lectures, available in both Estonian and Russian, that provide information on breastfeeding. East-Tallinn Central Hospital has the Baltics’ only breast milk bank. It has been in operation for six years.

Vivian Arusaar, head midwife, says she is pleased that Estonian wives want and strive to breastfeed their children as long as possible – it supports a close bond between baby and mother and has a positive effect on the health of both. “We have been observing World Breastfeeding Week for several years now. It is gratifying that more and more Estonian mothers consider breastfeeding important and are frequently keen on dispensing advice to other young mothers. The basis for successful breastfeeding is laid during pregnancy and at the moment of childbirth – because of that we have tried to surprise our patients and their families with something fun each year,” said Arusaar, calling for women to participate in the breastfeeding lectures.