Stakeholders Advocate Breastfeeding Leave For Working Parents

Dignitaries with breastfeeding promotional materials


The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Health Service (GHS), and Ministry of Health (MoH) have called for the protection of breastfeeding working parents.

According to them, institutions and business organisations must grant breastfeeding leave in addition to full leave, flexible work arrangements to breastfeeding working parents

This they indicated will ensure breastfeeding parents complete the six months recommended exclusive breastfeeding for maximum nutritional benefit of the baby.

They made the call at the launch of the 2023 Breastfeeding awareness month on the theme, “Enabling Breastfeeding, making a difference for working parents.”

Director, Family Health Division, GHS, Dr. Kofi Issah, speaking at the launch expressed concern that despite the health benefits of breastfeeding to newborns, many working parents still faced difficulties in keeping up with exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended six months.

He said breastfeeding was a fundamental right of every child and important to child survival and development.

“Long working hours, limited maternity leave, inadequate breastfeeding leave and the stigma surrounding breastfeeding in the workplace are some of the barriers preventing parents from providing nutrition, optimal for their infants,” he said.

He thus appealed to employers to encourage and establish breastfeeding-friendly workplaces with safe spaces, hygienic facilities, and storage of breast milk for breastfeeding parents.

FDA, CEO, Delese A. A. Darko, called on all stakeholders, including governments, employers, civil society, and community organisations, to work together to overcome those barriers and create a favourable environment to support breastfeeding for working parents.

She said the organisation believes that every workplace should be a support for mothers to breastfeed or express milk while encouraging employers to establish lactation rooms, provide flexible work hours and ensure that mothers have access to the resources they need to continue breastfeeding.

“As we celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month, let us remember that creating a breastfeeding-supportive society is not just an obligation but an investment for the future of the health and well-being of the public,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah expressed the commitment of the ministry in playing its role in the creation of an enabling environment for breastfeeding and “we call on all stakeholders to join hands with us in this endeavor.”

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri