Breastfeeding Week : Initiation And Optimal Duration Of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding for infants initiated within the first hour of delivery. It is a natural act of providing nutrients to the infants with the milk of women’s breast. The first breast milk of mother, colostrum, is loaded with important antibodies that help the child to fight against various bacteria and viruses, hence, protecting them from diarrheal diseases and lower respiratory tract infections. It is one of the most productive ways to ensure child development and growth.
According to WHO-
“First breastfed can prevent 20% of newborns deaths”
“Only 40% of infants are exclusively breastfed for the required first six months globally.”
“Encouragement of exclusive breastfeed can save about 8,20,000 child lives every year.”
Although the mother can feed the child in different positions such as cradle hold, cross-over hold, relaxed positions both for mother and child is mandatory which requires appropriate practice. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of diabetes, obesity, leukaemia, sudden infant death syndrome, hence, lowering infant mortality rate. It also has immense impact on improved IQ. Breastfeeding helps the mother’s uterus in returning to its pre-pregnancy size by releasing the hormone oxytocin. It burns additional calories and tend to return pre-pregnancy shape of the body. A woman who exclusively breastfed can reduce her risk of breast and ovarian cancer by 50%.
The process of breastfeeding is weaned either when the child lose interest in nursing or mother is returning to work. Weaning means when mother stops nursing and the child gets all the nutrients from the sources other than breast. In other words, it simply means nurturing your child in different ways. WHO recommends that the babies should be breastfed for at least six months and then slowly be introduced to suitable family foods while continuing to breastfed for another two years of child.
To do our bit, Nidhi Foundation is creating awareness about appropriate initiation, duration and proper positions to breastfed thus preventing hunger and malnutrition even in the time of crisis.
In future, Nidhi Foundation is looking forward to actively promotes breastfeeding, spread awareness through workshops and improves their attitude and practice as the best source of nourishment for infants.