‘20m infants aren’t properly breast-fed’

Experts gathered at the 20th World Breast-feeding Conference believe that from the 26 million babies born in India every year, 20 million are not being fed according to the optimal feeding prepared by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr Arun Gupta, member of the Prime Minister’s council on India’s nutrition challenges pointed out, “Medical experts insist babies must be fed within the first 45 minutes of birth because that is the period in which they are at their most active. Unfortunately, only 45 per cent babies are being fed within the first hour.”
“There is a lack of information and support which should inform mothers that a bonding, skin-to-skin contact and a child’s innate reflexes all get heightened when immediate contact is established with the mother.”
High-diarrhoea and pneumonia deaths amongst babies in India can be reduced by breast-feeding, pointed out Dr M.M.A. Faridi, head of the paediatric department in GTB Hospital.
Calling for awareness about the benefits of breast feeding, minister of women and child development Krishna Tirath emphasised that exclusive breast-feeding to a child for the first six months is crucial for preventing infant mortality and malnutrition.
“Optimal breast-feeding together with complimentary nutrition can prevent malnutrition and can save one million children’s lives,” Ms Krishna Tirath said.

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