Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2021

Well Being Africa (WBA), celebrated the World Breastfeeding Week 2021 on Thursday 5th August 2021 in partnership with the Daspoort Policlinic and the dietetics and physiotherapy students of the University of Pretoria. During the event, mothers were educated about various aspects of breastfeeding through practical demonstrations. The presentations included appropriate positions for breastfeeding, preventing and treating common problems in breastfeeding e.g. engorgement, as well as expressing breast milk and storage. Mothers were also presented with a hands-on session on complementary food by using locally available foods and the preparation method. The theme for WBW 2021 is “Protect breastfeeding – a shared responsibility ”.

Dr. Debbie Kupolati, the CEO of WBA, addressed the mothers by commending their decision to breastfeed their babies. She acknowledged the fact that breastfeeding as simple as it sounds, is nevertheless an easy task. Therefore, everyone connected with a breastfeeding mom must offer support to help the mom breastfeed effectively. Likewise, the communities, workplaces, and the social system must be supportive of breastfeeding. By so doing, the theme for WBW 2021 protecting breastfeeding could be actualised as a shared responsibility.  To demonstrate WBA’s continued support for breastfeeding and in celebrating WBW 2021, Dr. Kupolati announced the sponsorship of 10 pregnant mothers to participate in the ante-natal flourish classes for expecting mothers.  The Grow Great flourish visit is an initiative that enables the face-to-face antenatal and postnatal support group through community-based classes.

Notable achievements

  1. Mothers improved skills on certain aspects of breastfeeding and infant feeding such as complementary foods preparation.
  2. Mothers increased knowledge on breastfeeding practices and support.
  3. Ten pregnant mothers will be sponsored to access the Flourish ante-natal visits.


The UNICEF One Health project is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support to the dietetics and physiotherapy students of the University of Pretoria. Also, we express our gratitude to the DG Murray Trust for funding the Pilot Breastfeeding Support project in Daspoort, Pretoria West, South Africa.

Tailoring skill development for moms

Well Being Africa (WBA), partnered with UNICEF One Health project for engaging communities in creating a supportive environment for mothers to promote exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding for 2 years.

An offshoot of the project is skill development in tailoring for mothers towards enhancing their capacity for income-generating ventures. Mothers were engaged in tailoring and stitching training sessions.

In addition to the training sessions, mothers were engaged in focus group discussions to obtain their views regarding the breastfeeding information materials that were developed to communicate breastfeeding education to the communities.

Notable achievements

  1. Mothers developed tailoring and stitching skills with which they could develop towards enhancing their income.
  2. The team received valuable comments from the mothers in the focus group discussion. The comments are useful in updating the developed materials to communicate breastfeeding messages to the communities more effectively.


The UNICEF One Health project is gratefully acknowledged for funding. Also, we like to express our gratitude to the DG Murray Trust for funding the Pilot Breastfeeding Support project in Daspoort, Pretoria West, South Africa.

WBW celebration at Melusi

Well Being Africa (WBA), celebrated World Breastfeeding Week 2020 in a couple of activities which commenced on 3 August 2020 at Melusi, in Pretoria West. #Breastfeedingweek2020, #DGMT, #Wellbeingafrica1. The theme for the year 2020 WBW is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”.

In her speech, the CEO of WBA, Dr. Debbie Kupolati reiterated the fact that the world is facing the challenge of climate change, global warming, and environmental degradation due to emissions from greenhouse gases resulting from the increase in industrialization and other human activities.

We can all contribute to reducing global warming through our activities including the way we feed our babies she said. Dr. Kupolati explained how breastfeeding contributes to reducing climate change and environmental degradation. Breastmilk is a natural renewable food that is environmentally safe, produced, and delivered to the consumer without pollution, packaging, or waste. Breastfeeding enables greater economic benefit for individuals, communities, and the nation at large. For example, no electricity is needed to produce breastmilk, and it requires no fuel for transport. #Breastfeedingandclimatechange,

Breastfeeding provides babies with the best possible resource to start life, delivers robust health, nutritional and emotional benefits to mom and baby as well as forms part of the sustainable food system. Though breastfeeding is natural, it is not always easy. Therefore, moms need support to initiate and sustain breastfeeding.

On Tuesday 4 August, the celebration continued at Zamazama Clinic in Pretoria West. There the staff of Well Being Africa engaged with moms and expecting moms at the clinic as well as conducted door-to-door visits to promote breastfeeding.

On Wednesday 5 August, the event was taken to Woodlane Clinic in Pretoria East. Breastfeeding promotion and awareness was undertaken by the staff of Well Being Africa, with a focus on breastfeeding in the context of COVID-19. Moms were made to understand that breastfeeding protects babies even in the circumstance of COVID-19 infection with all safety and hygiene measures duly observed. 

Notable achievements during the WBW 2020 celebration

  1. Four moms were assisted to re-lactate and continued to breastfeed successfully and happily. Two of the moms had infants and were giving formula feeds for various reasons which included breast had no milk, no family support, and post-partum stress. Since the moms desired to breastfeed, WBA’s field workers and BF experts provided appropriate BF education and support. We are super excited to see the moms re-establish breastfeeding to continue to give breastmilk only to their babies up to six months of age.
  2. The planting of 7 trees each one representing one day of the breastfeeding week.
  3. Giving out of 150 breastfeeding customised masks in support of mom’s compliance with the regulations of preventing the spread of COVID – 19. The breastfeeding customised masks were also to serve as a reminder that breastfeeding is best for babies.
  4. Giving out breastfeeding customised T-shirts to 40 community health workers towards enhancing the support for breastfeeding in the communities

Lesson Learned

The lessons we have learned from the activities of the WBW 2020 are:

  1. The positive breastfeeding outcomes we realised during the WBW 2020 activities, confirm the fact that moms need to be supported to breastfeed effectively.
  2. The interactions of our field workers with moms confirm the effectiveness of peer support in breastfeeding support and care. Our field workers are young breastfeeding moms. They speak in a way that moms easily understand. The moms readily accept the counsels they receive from the field workers because they see them as colleagues in breastfeeding endeavours who are more knowledgeable in breastfeeding.
  3. Our field workers have previously undergone training in breastfeeding support. Furthermore, they are surrounded by experienced dietitians, nutritionists, senior nurses, and medical doctors with whom they interact for enriching their knowledge and developing their skills in breastfeeding support.


Beyond the world breastfeeding week, WBA continues her mission of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding in our communities towards contributing to reducing nutritional stunting in children. The ongoing Pilot breastfeeding project is confirming the feasibility of our concept of capacity development in breastfeeding as well as the accessibility of BF support platforms for moms. We are seeing impressive results already, and we look forward to a bigger and sustainable impact as the project is scaled in 2021.


We like to express our gratitude to the DG Murray Trust for funding the Pilot Breastfeeding Support project in Daspoort, Pretoria West, South Africa. The Tebelo NPO is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support to the Dietetics students of the University of Pretoria toward the tree planting and vegetable garden.