Algarve celebrates breastfeeding week.jpg

Algarve celebrates breastfeeding week


[email protected]

THE WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) wants 50 per cent of all babies in the world to be breastfed in their first six months until 2010. The WHO recommendation was remembered this week all over Portugal as part of the World Breastfeeding Week celebrations.

In the Algarve, both Faro and Portimão Central Hospitals participated with several talks held on the premises and specialised units were set up across the region to inform parents about the benefits of breastfeeding.

However, the most significant initiatives were the official openings of the breastfeeding rooms in both hospitals, to help improve comfort and privacy of mothers and babies when attending these health facilities.

Administração Regional de Saúde do Algarve, the region’s health authority, also announced the creation of other smaller breastfeeding rooms in 12 of the existing 16 health centres from Vila Real de Santo António to Aljezur.

The WHO’s campaign, Breastfeeding in the first hour! The sixty minutes that can change a life, aims to improve rates of exclusively breastfeeding in the first six months after the baby is born.

The idea was launched in 2001 and its most ambitious objective is to create the best conditions for mothers to keep breastfeeding their babies until they are two or more years old as a complement to other food.


During the past week in Portugal, the Comité Nacional para o Aleitamento Materno, the national board to improve breastfeeding practices in the country, has launched several appeals to the government asking for more baby friendly laws in the country’s labour legislation.

Adriana Pereira, a member of this board, said in several interviews to the media that, in many hospitals, the numbers show that the majority of mothers want to breastfeed their newborn babies. “The problem is afterwards, when they have to go back to work, only four months after the baby is born,” she said.

According to Portuguese laws, all breastfeeding mothers are entitled to a special leave of two hours in the first year of their baby’s life. But the national board believes that more can be done, including the extension of maternity leave to a longer period as well as more awareness campaigns among younger mothers.

If you would like to know more about WHO breastfeeding programmes, please visit:

Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]