Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Thursday, 28 September 2023 - 4:21pm

Chief Nursing Officer, Ms. Jacinth Hannibal said the Ministry of Health and Social Development is re-introducing the baby friendly initiative of breastfeeding and will be hosting a Facebook LIVE panel discussion on the subject.

Ms. Hannibal said the panel discussion complements other activities being led by the ministry to support and encourage breastfeeding within the Territory.

“We all know that breastfeeding is best for mothers, baby and the community,” Ms. Hannibal said. “We are re-introducing the baby friendly initiative and we chose this forum so that we can present a strong case for breastfeeding support,” she added.

The panel discussion will be held on Monday, October 2 at 2:00 p.m. and will discuss topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, considerations that expectant mothers should make when deciding to breastfeed, supporting new mothers, postpartum, preparing for delivery and initial breastfeeding, as well as challenges and successes.  

 “We will also be hearing from a mom and breastfeeding advocate who will speak on topics about life as a breastfeeding mother, going back to work, work environment and some success and challenges,” Mrs. Hannibal said.

The Chief Nursing Officer further stated that the panelists were selected from both healthcare institutions and within the community to present a well-rounded view of the topic and make a strong argument on why mothers should consider breastfeeding.

The panelists include Lead Physician at the Nurse Iris O’Neal Community Clinic Dr. Shana Kay Fraser; Director of Community Nursing Services Ms. Ferrosa Roache; Nurse Manager, Women’s Health Ms. Angela Rock and a breastfeeding mom advocate.

The public is invited to log on to the Facebook LIVE event on Monday, October 2 at 2:00 p.m. to be a part of the conversation to help promote a healthier Virgin Islands through the mainstreaming of breastfeeding for new mothers. 

“Breast milk is the best option for a newborn and we want to encourage and support mothers to give their children the best start in life.  We know breast milk offers protection against diseases, it promotes bonding and nurturing and it helps the mother to lose the extra baby pounds.  Come and join us next week to learn more,” Ms. Hannibal advocated.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to protecting and promoting the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286