July 24, 2017
The Silver Jubilee celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week is being observed from August 1 with the theme `Sustaining golden rule of breastfeeding – building alliances without conflicts of interest’.
“Breastfeeding significantly contributes to maternal health by preventing type 2 Diabetes (one in three new cases) and obesity by 26 per cent. It can reduce 7 per cent of total deaths occurring due to breast cancer annually. It reduces diarrhoea by 50 per cent and respiratory infections by one-third contributing hugely to child health and survival.
It increases IQ of all children irrespective of their economic status. Consequently, breastfeeding can play a major role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals for maternal health, nutrition, poverty, education, economic growth and reducing inequalities by 2030,” says a statement by PSG College of Nursing.
In India, 26 million children are born each year of which 41.6 per cent are able to begin breastfeeding within an hour (meaning 15 million babies do not) and about 55 per cent are able to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. Hence, it is the first and most vital step towards achieving 100 per cent in initiating successful breastfeeding within one hour and be able to exclusively breastfeed for first six months.
“Breastfeeding requires support from families, communities, healthcare systems and the government. The support could be practical such as assisting with childcare and household tasks, or emotional by providing empathy and understanding, or by providing resources to give correct information and looking for professional help for solving the problems related to breastfeeding” the statement adds.