Opelousas General Health System Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week & National Breastfeeding Month

Well-nourished generations

This marks an increase of around 17 per cent since the last NFHS survey in 2005-06. Breastfeeding is important, as it significantly boosts a baby's immune system and helps protects them from various illnesses.

The debate of whether breast is best has been going on for years but now the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Midwives should check if mums are breastfeeding within an hour of birth. This year, World Health Organization is working with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of helping mothers breastfeed their babies within that crucial first hour of life.

Isokpunwu stated that averagely, women breastfeed their babies for only 19 months while a lot of them gave babies water alongside breast milk in the first six months of life. In Egypt, only 19 per cent of babies born by C-section were breastfed in the first hour after birth, compared to 39 per cent of babies born by natural delivery. "With adequate breastfeeding, children develop better immunity against diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and anemia", says Dr. Sachin. The activity highlighted the most common reason for a breastfed baby not gaining weight and explained to participating mothers and medical staff how to deal with this issue.

Another obstacle mothers face is discomfort during nursing. Women who find themselves in this situation need support and affirmation as well.

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

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To promote breastfeeding among mothers, India has enacted the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act, (IMS Act) 2003 that regulates production, supply and distribution of infant milk substitutes.

Professor Eregie talked about the idea of having a human milk bank on standby as obtainable in advanced climes to fill an observed vacuum during a time of crises. There are also health benefits for mothers such as having a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Breast milk continues to provide essential nutrients for childhood development up to two years.

However, she said that the challenge remained achieving exclusive breastfeeding, although progress was being paid in that regard.

In a statement this week Laura Sayce, Lactation Consultant at Life Healthcare's Genesis Maternity Clinic, said research has demonstrated that mothers and other caregivers require active support for establishing and sustaining appropriate breastfeeding practices.

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