Patiala: Commemorating the World Breastfeeding Week in the first week of the month of August, Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala initiated the campaign to promote breastfeeding in a larger way in young mothers for better health in infants and better immunity in the long run.
World Breastfeeding Week brings the focus on the need to promote breastfeeding practices in India for declining trends
Pregnant women must be educated on the benefits of breastfeeding for infants
Modern day lifestyle and work pressures are time and patience out of young mothers. The need to educate young mothers on how infants need to be breastfed for increased immunity, increased health benefits has become urgent.
Breastfeeding a young one also contributes significantly to forging a stronger emotional bond between the mother and the child. Psychologists and pediatricians also reveal that being breastfed over a longer period makes a child emotionally much more secure and physically much stronger as compared to children who are breastfed for a shorter time period.
Recent data on breastfeeding trends in India, especially among working women, paints a sorry picture. Only about eight million of the 26 million babies born every year annually are breastfedwithin an hour of birth, finds a recent report of breastfeeding trends. It ranked India at 31st place out of the 51 countries surveyed. The report reveals that only 46 percent of babies born in India were breastfed in the first 24 hours of birth. Neighbouring countries fared better. The percentage of babies who were breastfed within the first 24 hours in Sri Lanka stood at 75.8 and in Bangladesh stood at 64.
In a city like Delhi, which has higher number of working women than smaller cities, the figures are further worrisome. Only about 28 percent of mothers breastfed their newborns within the first hour of birth and 41 percent of them fed their babies with formula feed instead of with colostrum.
Dr. Neeraj Arora, Consultant Neonatologist Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala said, “There is an urgent need to sensitise young mothers that breastfeeding is the best choice for babies for optimized immunity as the breast milk contains the best of fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. This will contribute in warding off so many diseases and illnesses if they are adequately breastfed. We strongly recommended that all pregnant ladies be given practical knowledge about breastfeeding”.