Breast is best for baby's development

Erica Rothenstein with her 9-month-old daughter Savannah

Erica Rothenstein with her 9-month-old daughter Savannah

"The room will be a place of comfort for nursing mothers where they can breastfeed her babies in privacy", said Mukunda Gautam, senior public health administrator at the DoHS Nutrition Department, .

Dr Howard Manyonga, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and head of The Birthing Team, recommends in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines, that breastfeeding start within an hour after birth and that babies are given breast milk exclusively at first.

Despite the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for six months, it is estimated that 78 million babies across the world or three in five babies are not breastfed in the first hour of life. "It is important for us to help moms to exclusively breastfeed and not introduce products into the baby's life". "In many countries, it can even be a matter of life or death", says the UNICEF Executive Director, Ms Henrietta H. Fore.

Mothers who breastfeed lower their risk of pre and post-menopausal breast cancer.

Breastfeeding also promotes overall health, growth and development of infants and reduces the risk of developing asthma, obesity, diabetes and other diseases in childhood and adulthood. The risk of infant death within first 28 days of life for example is 30 percent higher among those babies fed any time within 2 and 23 hours after life when compared to babies fed within the first hour after birth. And women who are HIV-positive and on anti-retrovirals can safely breastfeed their babies without transmitting the virus, research has found.

Konta crashes out in Silicon Valley, Azarenka retires hurt
She won four straight games in the second set to put pressure on Collins, and ultimately evened the match with a forehand victor . Seven seed Croatian Donna Vekic was leading 3-0 over Magda Linette in the opening set when play was suspended.

According to the WHO/UNICEF report, the presence of a skilled birth attendant does not seem to affect rates of early breastfeeding.

Speakers further stressed the need for breast feeding facilities at workplaces for working mothers. On the other hand, in eastern Asian nations and the Pacific, only one third (32 percent) babies are put to the breast within an hour after birth. Every nursing mom should have the ability to continue breastfeeding when they go back to work if they choose to and having a supportive work environment can make that choice possible. Babies who are born from caesarean section are also less likely to be breastfed within an hour of birth say the authors of the report. OTC employees are supported as they return to work and continue providing breast milk for their babies. More support, extensive training of health care workers and increased awareness is necessary to improve breast feeding practices says the report.

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, the new report urges governments, donors and other decision-makers to adopt strong legal measures to restrict the marketing of infant formula and other breast milk substitutes.

"Breastfeeding is vital to a child's lifelong health, and reduces costs for healthcare systems, families and governments", it said.

Latest News