Chloe Learey: Celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Lynette PayneAug 07, 2018

Celebrated globally by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA, this year's celebrations are held under the theme, "Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life". The celebration provides wonderful opportunity of refreshing knowledge or setting agenda for nursing mothers on breastfeeding for a whole week.

He surmised that the little baby breastfed benefits from the growth spot during the first six months of life, coupled with the child's survival that protects the baby from diseases, disorders and help nourish good nutrition. The act of breastfeeding builds a strong emotional connection between the mother and infant, a bond which lasts a lifetime and evidence-based research indicates that infants and children who are breastfed are at a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), infections of the ear, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and urinary tract, asthma, meningitis and obesity.

"They also need a breastfeeding plan". Longer breastfeeding is associated with higher performance on intelligence tests among children and adolescents. "After that, if the baby and mother both mutually chose to continue, breastfeeding can be continued for up to two years of the baby's age", said Dr Asmita Mahajan, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim.

It has set a national target of 15% in exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.

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. This is especially important as most establishments in Nigeria do not make any provisions for crèches where breastfeeding mothers can bring their babies so that the babies are close enough for the mothers to take breastfeeding breaks and breastfeed their infants. Now is also an opportune time to reverse the rising trends in bottle-feeding that are putting millions of dollars into the pockets of companies that speak laurels of their infant formulas as adequate replacements for breast milk. One of the steps to successful exclusive breastfeeding includes allowing mothers and infants remain together 24 hours a day.

Hiwet Darsenie, Nutrition Expert in Women and Children Health Directorate with the Ministry, for her part said that the Ministry is celebrating the breastfeeding week to raise awareness among the people, and inform the significance of breastfeeding, and engage mothers to feed nutrition for childrens. During the same period, the rates of early initiation of breastfeeding decreased from 40 per cent to 27 per cent. Mothers can carry the pump and storage bag to their work place and pump there to keep up their milk supply.

The 2018 health report on breastfeeding notes that newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive than those who are not breastfed in the first hour of birth.

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