Written by Yulius Hulu – Community Officer Nias

Suriani Lase, a 35 years old mother from the Sinarikhi Village, Nias, started attending seminars about exclusive breastfeeding held by SurfAid at Posyandu Mawar when she was pregnant with her fourth child. She had been taking her children regularly to Posyandu, but after attending the seminars she realised how important exclusive breastfeeding was.

‘I think there are many good things related to exclusive breastfeeding: it builds the baby’s immune system, enables the baby to grow in good health and it strengthens the psychological bonding between the mother and the baby.’

The practice also has incredible benefits for the mother such as breast cancer prevention.  Equipped with this knowledge, Suriani decided she would not repeat bad practices from the past, where she did not practise exclusive breastfeeding. With her husband’s support, she planned to give birth at the health facilities. Suriani successfully gave birth to a baby boy named Noel Mendofa in the Health Center in Hiliduho Sub District.

After 6 months, Suriani was still breastfeeding exclusively. Because of her outstanding commitment and hard work, she was given a hygiene kit and Exclusive Breastfeeding certificate in order to motivate her and other mothers to follow her example.

Being interviewed by SurfAid staff Yulius Hulu, she smiled and said:

“I am a proud mother. My baby got Exclusive Breastfeeding. I have seen the changes myself: my baby who got exclusive breastfeeding is much healthier than my other children. Take my eldest son for example: when he gets sick, it lasts for 6-10 days. When my baby gets sick, it lasts for 1-2 days’.

Suriani is now one of the pioneers in the implementation of exclusive breastfeeding in Nias, a core aspect of the Mother and Child Health program (EHOWU 2) SurfAid runs there.