It has come out from a recent research that breastfeeding is one of the best ways for infant’s development. Every infant should be given mother’s milk within an hour of birth. The Uttar Pradesh health department had drawn a plan ‘Understanding the past, planning for future’ with an aim to promote breastfeeding.
The breastfeeding percentage in UP, within an hour of birth, stands at 15.4 per cent while the national figure is 40.5 per cent. The officials of National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) authorities have instructed the health department to engage ASHAs and ANMs to convince pregnant women to breast-feed the baby after birth. Similarly, efforts would be made to promote breastfeeding among mothers, who have undergone institutional deliveries.
Additional chief medical officer, NRHM, Chandan Lal said that children who get breast milk soon after birth are more emotional and mentally fit in compared to those who are deprived of it. “Colostrums (khees) has the ability to fight against any disease. That is the reason it is called natural immunization for children.
The infant mortality rate (IMR) could also be checked up to 20 per cent through breastfeeding. There are less chances of cancer (breast, ovary and uterus) among women who breast-feed the infants.
Another health officer said that the health department is all set to celebrate the World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) with the theme ‘Understanding the past, planning for the future’. The theme also aims to encourage breastfeeding.
Stating that breastfeeding is the fundamental right of an infant and many researches had also proved it, the health authorities keep on advising pregnant women to opt breastfeeding. Infants should be given breast milk within an hour of the birth and it should continue till six months. He added that breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborn the nutrients they need. Health officials recommend exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old and to continue it with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.