Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children is a group of mothers and other interested people, working as volunteers, to gather and co-ordinate support for the infants (newborns to age two years old and beyond) fleeing war and thus caught in the refugee crisis. As a group we support the WHO recommendations on Infant Feeding whereby milk, preferably mother’s milk, should be the only food given for the first six months and milk feed should be offered freely for a minimum of two years.
In order to support refugee children (and their mothers where they are travelling with their children) and in line with WHO guidelines, we will seek to support breastfeeding mothers, and any mothers wishing to breastfeed, by providing them with a calm place to feed their babies, where there is adequate food for the mother (and any other children), water, and a safe space to breastfeed with others who are doing the same. In addition, we will seek to provide relactation support for mothers who have been too traumatised by fleeing the war, to believe they can breastfeed, to relactate and breastfeed effectively. Where there is no breastfeeding possible in the immediate situation, and infants are hungry, particularly babies six months and under, we will seek to find donor milk or wet-nursing for that child, sensitive to the cultural, religious and spiritual needs of all concerned. Where there is no hope of the mother’s milk, or donor milk or wet-nursing, in line with WHO Guidelines we will support others in supplying UHT (Ready To Feed) single use formula packs so that the babies are not going hungry, or being fed raw cow’s milk, goat’s milk or sugar water.
Reports have suggested that the most common baby food being given to babies in refugee travelling groups is tinned milk with water, or cow’s milk with water, sugar added on top where available. In such circumstances, this group will seek for sterile single use formula packs to be given to babies and their care givers in line with UNHCR and WHO guidelines. Do note, this means we will fund raise for money to buy emergency rations to be distributed to mothers, but only in line with all guidelines rather than seek to supply directly.
This group will not accept donations, or support, from companies that break the WHO Code in Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. We will only provide supplemental support to babies in line with the ENN recommendations.