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Despite numerous benefits of breastfeeding and decades of doctors’ recommendations, nearly half of infants are still being deprived of exclusive breastfeeding in India. Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) is observed around the world,to create awareness about Breastfeeding.

BREASTFEEDING IN INDIA

Only 42% of the Children are Breastfed within one hour of birth

Only 55% are exclusively Breastfed for 6 months

Uttar Pradesh,Rajasthan, Uttarkhand, Punjab and Delhi are the worst performing State

Barriers to Breastfeeding:

1.Poor health of Lactating Mothers

2.Lack of time for Breastfeeding, especially in case of working mothers

3.Dependence on the instant formula for ease

4.Lack of Guidance

5.Breastfeeding in Public is considered a taboo

Why it is worrisome?

India accounts for more than one-fifth of World’s Neonatal Deaths( when a child dies with 28 days of birth)

6 lakh children died in India within 28 days after birth in 2016, while it was 26 lakh Neonatal deaths that are reported globally.

ADVANTAGES OF BREASTFEEDING:
FOR INFANTS

  1. 20% newborn deaths can be prevented by Breastfeeding
  2. In the first 6 months, an exclusively breastfed child has 14 times higher chances of survival compared to non-breastfed child.
  3. Exclusive breastfeeding protects child against Pneumonia, Breast Milk produces antibodies & increases immunity of the baby.
  4. It promotes Brain development and optimal nutrition
  5. Feeding first milk (colostrum) protects the baby from diseases.

FOR MOTHERS

1.28% reduction in Breast Cancer

2.21% in Ovarian Cancer

3.Upto 12% drop in chances of getting Type II diabetes for each year of Breastfeeding.

4.Lessens osteoporosis

5.Benefits child spacing

6.Promotes post-partum weight los

It also reduces the risk of non-communicable disease for both baby and mother and develops better bond between mother and Child.

MAA – “Mother’s Absolute Affection”

MAA – “Mother’s Absolute Affection” is a nationwide programme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in an attempt to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of counselling services for supporting breastfeeding through health systems.

The programme has been named ‘MAA’ to signify the support a lactating mother requires from family members and at health facilities to breastfeed successfully.

The chief components of the MAA Programme are Community awareness generation, Strengthening inter personal communication through ASHA, Skilled support for breastfeeding at Delivery points in Public health facilities, and Monitoring and Award/recognition.

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