Friday, 22 February, 2019

Women's Month: Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed regardless of HIV status

Are you feeding breast milk to your infant Are you feeding breast milk to your infant
Gustavo Carr | 07 August, 2018, 05:26

According to UNICEF's child development and nutrition officer (Bihar) Shivani Dar, breastfeeding after the first hour of birth is important as it boosts immunity, improves mental and physical health and helps build lean body mass. However, the legislation came very late in Pakistan when "The Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance, 2002" (XCIII Of 2002) was passed on October 26, 2002, and Pakistan became one of the 42 countries with legislation to adopt most of the articles of the Code. Breast milk is essential in the first six months as it provides all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals crucial for growth.

Now that mothers can nurse their babies in public in all 50 states, maybe more moms will be encouraged to breastfeed their children up until six months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

· If you are a working mother and returning to work, you can also exclusively breastfeed by pumping breast milk during the day, storing it in a clean container and asking the care giver to feed the baby in a palada. Breastfeeding within an hour of birth prevents 20 per cent of newborn deaths.

Now in Ethiopia, only 58 percent of mothers are aware of the significance of breastfeeding for children till six months without any additional food and water, she stated. Several community agencies will be on hand to offer education and information on topics such as pre-natal care, breastfeeding, and new parent resources.

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Activities are planned, throughout the state, to draw attention to the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of mothers and children.

Breastfeeding is beneficial for mothers as well since it helps them to lose weight faster. Other challenges can arise around a woman's milk supply or an infant's ability to latch on to the breast. One of the steps to successful exclusive breastfeeding includes allowing mothers and infants remain together 24 hours a day. "Mothers' milk has living antibodies that protect the baby from getting sick".

Breastfeeding has also been identified as a high-impact intervention to achieve the Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health (2016-2030), which was launched alongside the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a roadmap for ending preventable deaths in a generation. Breastfeeding prevents hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, and ensures food security for babies, even in times of crises.