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Opinion: Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mother And Child And How We Can Promote And Support It

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life followed by continued breastfeeding alongside complementary feeding for a minimum of two years

Opinion: Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mother And Child And How We Can Promote And Support It

Promoting and supporting breastfeeding is an important public health intervention, with multiple health benefits for infants and mothers. Breastfeeding also has the potential for considerably reduced healthcare costs from even modest increases in prevalence and duration. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that mothers should exclusively breastfeed their infant for the first six months, followed by continued breastfeeding alongside complementary feeding for a minimum of two years. However, despite numerous initiatives to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration over many years, compliance with recommendations is poor in most settings.

Also Read: Opinion: Breastfeeding A Must To Fortify The ‘First Thousand Days’ Of Your Baby

Why Breastfeeding Is Important?

Breastfeeding Protect Babies

The initial milk, colostrum, liquid gold is rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect the baby from infections. Therefore, giving colostrum in initial days is important. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of diarrhoea, Pneumonia, ear infections, asthma, eczema, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart diseases and others. Babies fed on mother’s milk have better brain development and have higher I.Q. Breastfed children have shown increased cognitive ability and greater self-confidence.

Also Read: Mothers Should Continue To Breastfeed Even If They Are COVID-19 Positive, Experts Say It Is ‘Safe’

Breastfeeding Benefits Mothers

Breastfeeding is good for the mother’s health too. It helps mom to lose weight and reduces her risk of cancer of the breast and ovaries, diabetes, heart diseases and osteoporosis. It aids the bonding between the mother and the baby. Life is much easier with breastfeeding; for example, no bottles which mean no nipples to sterilise; no need to buy, measure or mix formula; mothers do not need to warm bottles in the middle of the night. The breastmilk is always ready and at the right temperature.

Also Read: Precautions To Take In Times Of COVID-19 Pandemic To Safeguard Breastfeeding Babies

Breastfeeding Saves Money And Environment

Breastmilk is free and breastfed babies may not fall sick often which means fewer visits to doctors and in turn, low health expenditure. Formula cans, bottles, and nipples create more trash and plastic waste. Switching to breastfeeding means not adding to the waste.

Promoting And Supporting Breastfeeding

Although breastfeeding is natural, many mothers need help. Mothers can not do it alone and need support from hospitals, health professionals, community, at working and public places and members of their own families. Friends who have successfully breastfed are great sources of information and encouragement.

Also Read: In Maharashtra’s Amravati and Nandurbar Districts New Mothers Are Championing The Cause Of Breastfeeding, Courtesy Nutrition India Programme

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are certified breastfeeding professionals with the highest level of knowledge and skills in breastfeeding support. Other health professionals like pediatricians, gynecologists or general practitioners are also key sources of information. Unfortunately, they receive less training about breastfeeding, so in return, the mother does not receive the proper information and technical help. Formula companies some times incentivise health professionals as a result mother uses formula instead of breastmilk.

Other breastfeeding moms can be a great source of support. In ‘mother-to-mother-support-group’ mothers meet frequently together, they learn from each other, they share tips and offer encouragement. In Pune, at Hirkani Clinic, moms meet regularly. We offer discussions on various breastfeeding issues. Mother can get online information too but, it could be confusing and some technical assistance with face-to-face meetings is more effective.

Also Read: Breastfeeding And Coronavirus Outbreak: Here Is What Nursing Mothers Should Know

Having a new baby and learning to breastfeed can be stressful. So, relax in a comfortable, quiet place, take deep breaths, listen to music, meditate, and enjoy time with your baby. Sleep whenever the baby sleeps. With enough sleep, it is easier to cope up with the challenges and stay healthy. The family should look after the baby for a few hours while the mother is resting. They can also help you with household chores and keeping positivity about breastfeeding. Always get help from professionals on time which will help in the continuation of breastfeeding.

Also Read: An Image Of A Player Breastfeeding Publicly In Mizoram Highlights Issues Faced By Nursing Mothers

(Dr. Mangala Wani is the President of the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), Maharashtra. She is also the Director of Hirkani Gynaecology & Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic in Pune.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,90,75,864Cases
19,16,26,474Active
3,27,49,574Recovered
46,99,816Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,90,75,864 and 46,99,816 have died; 19,16,26,474 are active cases and 3,27,49,574 have recovered as on September 21, 2021 at 3:56 am.

India

3,35,04,534 26,115Cases
3,09,5758,606Active
3,27,49,574 34,469Recovered
4,45,385 252Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,04,534 confirmed cases including 4,45,385 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,09,575 and 3,27,49,574 have recovered as on September 21, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,24,498 2,583

45,229 1,281

63,40,723 3,836

1,38,546 28

Kerala

45,24,158 15,692

1,67,578 6,623

43,32,897 22,223

23,683 92

Karnataka

29,68,543 677

14,386 1,025

29,16,530 1,678

37,627 24

Tamil Nadu

26,47,041 1,661

16,984 15

25,94,697 1,623

35,360 23

Andhra Pradesh

20,39,529 839

14,388 311

20,11,063 1,142

14,078 8

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,680 11

194 4

16,86,599 15

22,887

West Bengal

15,62,173 524

7,810 96

15,35,699 608

18,664 12

Delhi

14,38,517 20

379 8

14,13,053 28

25,085

Odisha

10,20,754 510

4,947 96

10,07,666 600

8,141 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,094 38

297 7

9,91,234 43

13,563 2

Rajasthan

9,54,263 9

91 10

9,45,218 19

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,737 14

133 3

8,15,522 17

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,402 8

96 0

7,81,789 8

10,517

Haryana

7,70,746 13

340 6

7,60,598 7

9,808

Bihar

7,25,901 7

69 1

7,16,173 8

9,659

Telangana

6,63,662 208

4,991 14

6,54,765 220

3,906 2

Punjab

6,01,323 59

307 10

5,84,517 38

16,499 31

Assam

5,98,423 455

4,984 72

5,87,632 517

5,807 10

Jharkhand

3,48,125 9

55 1

3,42,937 10

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,393 11

267 6

3,35,736 17

7,390

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,069 128

1,461 32

3,22,191 159

4,417 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,140 234

1,616 54

2,11,871 177

3,653 3

Goa

1,75,583 85

810 36

1,71,478 48

3,295 1

Puducherry

1,25,517 54

867 56

1,22,818 109

1,832 1

Manipur

1,18,673 178

2,183 6

1,14,658 183

1,832 1

Tripura

83,905 51

346 10

82,750 40

809 1

Mizoram

81,460 1,731

15,140 1,008

66,057 721

263 2

Meghalaya

79,667 174

1,896 5

76,391 168

1,380 1

Chandigarh

65,188 7

41 4

64,329 3

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,126 56

410 12

53,444 67

272 1

Sikkim

30,971 16

654 59

29,937 74

380 1

Nagaland

30,907 43

467 17

29,786 59

654 1

Ladakh

20,737 7

138 4

20,392 3

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 1

10,666 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,359 3

8 3

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,600

13 0

7,458

129

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Amandeep

    February 11, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing the information. Looking forward to more blogs.
    Have a look at our blog explaining all the things in a detailed way https://amandeephospital.org/blogs/benefits-of-breastfeeding.php

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