Breastfeeding: Essential for better nutrition

The government must promote breastfeeding in a big way. At the same time, it is important to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and to initiate measures to improve breastfeeding practices.

Nutrition has been recognized as one of the most important determinants of health and is an important indicator of human development affecting the lives of individuals and families, productivity and ultimately national development. Scientific evidence has revealed that maternal and child nutrition, particularly during the first two years of life, is essential for survival, physical and mental development, learning abilities and has a lasting impact on the health of children. people.

Meeting the nutritional needs of infants and young children is one of the most promising ways to improve our key indicators related to child health and development. Optimal infant and young child feeding includes early initiation of breastfeeding within an hour, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life followed by adequate complementary feeding, and continued breastfeeding after six months to two years and beyond.
The country faces the double burden of malnutrition. On the one hand, there are high levels of undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies among children and women. On the other side is the emerging problem of diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, etc. life, including obesity.
To successfully breastfeed, women need practical help and support from everyone, especially health care providers. This means that women need accurate information on optimal ‘breastfeeding’ and young child feeding. The Lancet in 2008 provided unequivocal scientific evidence that breastfeeding promotion can work through individual or group counseling and that no other method such as mass media promotion is effective for increase rates of early and exclusive breastfeeding. Health workers should build the mother’s confidence to increase the flow of breastmilk and the transfer of milk from the breast to the baby’s mouth when she feels she does not have enough milk, help her start Breastfeeding within an hour Help her get into a proper sucking position to allow for effective sucking which will help her in the prevention of breast problems like sore nipples and engorgement Solve problems if they arise answer questions from mothers, advise mothers and families on adequate and appropriate complementary feeding. Ideally, all health care providers should acquire such skills. Unfortunately, most health care providers and frontline workers at the family level have barely acquired these breastfeeding counseling and management skills, either during initial or in-service training. There is an urgent need for support to mothers from health professionals and institutions to ensure rational feeding practices such as early contact between mother and child soon after birth, breastfeeding exclusive motherhood, rooming in, giving up the practice of pre-milk feeding, offering correct advice .
I have been working as a lactation consultant in the valley since 2017 after completing my certification training. The problems encountered by breastfeeding mothers are numerous. Different groups of mothers face different problems. Whether it is a working mother or a stay-at-home mother, whether they come from rural or urban areas, whether they are educated or vice versa, they face problems. Breastfeeding itself is a journey that requires proper guidance and support. Lack of awareness and knowledge makes it more difficult, if mothers do not receive mental support from family or society, they end up bottle feeding their babies. This exposes babies to various diseases.
You might hear someone say, “Breastfeeding is natural, why should a woman need help?” Certainly, some mothers are very lucky. They breastfeed their babies without any difficulty. But many women need help in the beginning, especially with their first baby, and especially if they are very young. Many women need help to continue breastfeeding, especially if they work away from home or if the baby seems to be crying a lot.
Two recent studies in India have shown that many women now use artificial foods of one type or another from an early age. It can be cow’s milk, infant formula, diluted cereal, glucose water or plain water. The practice is common throughout the country. In some areas it is traditional to give supplements early, especially if the baby is crying. The majority of women continue to partially breastfeed at the same time, which should avoid some of the worst effects of artificial feeding. But early supplements are a major cause of diarrhea and breastfeeding failure. The result of their widespread and uncontrolled use is likely to be that more and more women stop breastfeeding early.
If you ask women why they give up breastfeeding or why they introduce supplements early, they give many different answers, such as “I didn’t get enough milk”; or “the baby has refused to nurse”. However, although the women themselves do not know it, these are not the real causes of their difficulties.
Women are not really lacking in milk. They may be anxious and not confident that their milk alone is enough for their baby. Sometimes the baby does not suckle in a good position. Some mothers lack the enthusiasm to really try.
The underlying causes of their difficulties are: lack of support from loved ones, delivery of their baby in hospital and lack of adequate support in hospitals, pressures of city life modern. Lack of support from other close women
In traditional society, there were always experienced women nearby to help a new young mother. It may be her own mother or a woman in the neighborhood who helped her breastfeed her baby. It would be someone she would know and trust. But in modern society, and especially in cities, there is often no help nearby. Sometimes a woman’s mother or mother-in-law is there to help, or she has other friends nearby, but they encourage her to give the baby artificial foods, especially if they have fed their babies. own bottle-fed children. Other family members may also encourage a woman to bottle feed, for example if they think the baby is crying too much.
Giving proper advice plays a key role in reducing overflows.
Breastfeeding helps to increase the spacing between childbirths and to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in a breastfeeding mother is now well established. Knowing the importance of breastfeeding, it must be protected, promoted and supported. There is a beautiful and helpful government program MAA (Mothers Absolute Affection) that helps medical professionals know the importance of breastfeeding and how to practice in the system.
According to research published in NDTV, India is a signatory to the target set by the World Health Assembly to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months to at least 50% here 2025.
the government must promote breastfeeding in a big way. At the same time, it is important to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and to initiate measures to improve breastfeeding practices.
First, there is an acute need for more lactation consultants. Second, it is necessary to ensure that women working in the informal sector receive adequate remuneration during maternity leave. Third, separate breastfeeding areas are needed in offices, restaurants, shopping malls, stations, etc. so that women can breastfeed even when they are not at home. Fourth, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare should implement the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative as a priority. Fifth, the government must crack down on companies that violate the Regulation of the Production, Supply and Distribution of Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act 1992 and the Regulation (Amendment) Act 2003. law. Sixth, better data, especially at the state level, is important because at the moment there are districts for which there is no data. Finally, effective implementation and monitoring of all government initiatives to support exclusive breastfeeding is essential.
Overall, breastfeeding has been found to promote a healthier lifestyle for both child and mother and I think everyone should take heed of the significant research that has been done and consider breastfeed their infants to help reduce the risk of certain diseases their child may contract. around in the near future. It’s a healthy boost that society has accepted and instead of turning to formula, give breastfeeding a chance and see what it can do for you.

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