BNBA Hosts 4th National Breastfeeding Awards Banquet

Pictures are the awardees in the center, with Mrs Ann Marie Davis, Office of the Spouse and Sharon Martin, Chair, National Tripartite Council presenting the awards

The Bahamas National Breastfeeding Association (BNBA) awarded ten outstanding advocates for breastfeeding during a recent gala banquet, held under the patronage of Mrs Ann Marie Davis, Office of the Spouse. Awardees were hailed for their significant contributions to increasing awareness and advocating for breastfeeding as an important aspect of national development for The Bahamas. 

The BNBA award recipients for the 4th Breastfeeding Awards Banquet are: Hon Glenys Hanna Martin, Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training; Pastor Dr David L Adams; veteran journalist A. Felicity Darville; and the following Midwives and veteran Nurses: Anna Forbes; Dabielle Munnings; Constance Comery; Caroline Cartwright; Andrea Nottage; Catriona McTaggart-Moncur; and Marilyn Smith.

Minister Glenys Hanna Martin was awarded for her long years of support for the BNBA, and for promoting breastfeeding as the first building block of developing high intellect. Nurse Andrea Nottage, an internationally-trained midwife, was awarded for assisting countless mothers latch their newborn to the breast. Another awardee, Midwife Marilyn Smith, is a Certified Lactation Counselor and a treasured resource at the Maternal Treasures Parent Care Center. 

Nurse Catriona McTaggart-Moncur was recognized for taking the lead in Doctor’s Hospital’s Maternity Unit’s Success in the World Breastfeeding Exhibitions since 2001, with two overall wins, three second place and one third place award. Certified Lactation Counselor Dabrielle Munnings served as a registered Nurse in the UK, USA and Canada. She was awarded for her nursing career in The Bahamas, which began in 1974, and for decades of teaching breastfeeding classes at local maternity clinics.

Dr David L Adams, pastor of New Testament Baptist Church and founder of Teleos Christian Schools, received an award for being a pioneering breastfeeding-friendly employer in The Bahamas. Breastfeeding school teachers have a designated room for rest time and milk pumping. Another UK-trained Midwife, Constance Comery, was recognized for her ability to rally countless nurses at Princess Margaret Hospital over the years to promote breastfeeding as the best choice for babies, and should be implemented immediately following delivery. 

BNBA member, Midwife Anna Forbes was honored for decades of nursing, promoting breastfeeding, and offering specialist support services for women during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum life. She teaches childbirth education classes called “Own Your Birth”. Nurse Caroline Cartwright, a native of Berry’s Long Island, was a Midwife on PMH’s Maternity Ward for 25 years, and was assigned to the Breastfeeding Committee. Her award comes from decades of educating patients and nurses, including sharing the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”. 

Veteran journalist and communications professional A Felicity Darville has advocated for the rights of breastfeeding mothers and babies through the media for many years. She was awarded for bringing awareness of breastfeeding as a solution to the health and social ills in the country, and for connecting the BNBA with partners who are now helping to formulate new suggestions for breastfeeding and maternity policy in The Bahamas.

A devoted BNBA partner, Mrs Davis celebrated breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition and emotional support for a newborn baby. As banquet patron, she was on hand to make presentations to the awardees, held on Sunday, October 8, 2023 at Superclubs Breezes. Prime Minister Philip E Davis proclaimed the first week in October as National Breastfeeding Week. Mrs. Davis said from personal experience, breastfeeding boosts the baby’s immune system and helps her maintain a mother’s figure after childbirth.The baby also receives colostrum, known as ‘liquid gold’, and feels safe and reassured while breastfeeding. 

Sharon Martin, Chair of the National Tripartite Council, delivered the keynote address, confirming the council’s commitment to working with the BNBA to advocate for new policies affecting maternity, paternity and breastfeeding rights, in alignment with International Labor Organization standards. Minister of Health Dr Michael Darville called on healthcare professionals to champion the cause of the 2023 national theme: “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for Working Parents”.

BNBA President, Nurse Trineka Hall noted the significance of the 4th Breastfeeding Awards Banquet, which was held during the NGO’s 30th anniversary and The Bahamas’ 50th Independence anniversary. Members include breastfeeding pioneer and BNBA chaplain Carlotta Klass; Ampusam Symonette; Dr Lillian Jones; Tamica Gibson; Danina Black; Linelle Thompson; and Kelly Farquharson. The banquet was hosted by Clement Foster and entertainment was provided by DJ Anthony Ryan. 

Source: Felicity Darville

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