The Sharjah Baby Friendly Campaign, in collaboration with Kalba Municipal Council, organised a lecture to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding and to promote the mother-friendly workplace, while informing mothers on how to return to work safely after maternity leave.
Held at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s branch in Kalba, the lecture was attended by representatives of 13 government entities in the city, and aimed to encourage these entities to join the campaign and achieve official accreditation by providing mother-friendly facilities at their workplaces.
Attended by HE Hilal Al Naqbi, Chairman of Kalba Municipal Council, and a number of members from the Council’s Board of Directors, the lecture explained how to complete the criteria to get the SBFC accreditation and attendees were also briefed on the campaign and the importance of joining.
Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Director of the Executive Committee of Sharjah Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign, said: “The campaign’s vision is to foster life-long physical and psychological health for all children and their families by increasing duration and frequency of breastfeeding to strengthen family bonds, ensure a healthier society and empower mothers to breastfeed their infants for two years in order to give their children the best start at life.”
She added that a supportive workplace for breastfeeding is an investment in human resources as it helps save the budget of appointing new staff, encourages mothers to rejoin work after maternity leave and reduces sickness absence as the more breastfeeding there is the less women will visit the pediatrician. In addition, companies that provide mother-friendly facilities will be considered socially responsible firms.
Reem Faris, Executive Coordinator Mother Friendly Institutions Initiative presented the requirements of a mother-friendly room at the workplace and the necessary steps to join the SBFC and the phases of accreditation. She presented tips and advice to help mothers return to work after birth leave, and also gave tips about healthy breastfeeding.
The campaign seeks to encourage public facilities and organisations under four categories: health facilities, workplaces, nurseries and public places, to attain SBFC accreditation by improving the care of mothers and newborns with amenities that provide maternity services for protecting, prompting and supporting breastfeeding.