Mother’s milk is the first right of a new born baby. It works as an antibiotic for the baby and breastfeeding is important for the infant’s growth. According to the World Health Organization, the baby needs to be breastfeed in the first hour after the birth. However, babies do not receive breastmilk due to lack of awareness about breastfeeding.
The central government provided information about how many babies under the age of three were breastfed in the first hour of birth after birth.
India and breastfeeding
- Goa – 73 per cent
- Kerala – 64.4 per cent
- Assam – 64 per cent
- Maharashtra – 57.5per cent
- Bihar – 34 per cent
- Uttar Pradesh – 25 per cent
While speaking to My Medical Mantra lactation expert Dr Sarita Bhagwat said, “If 100 per cent babies are breastfed within one hour after birth, then, the neonatal mortality rate can be reduced by 22 per cent. There is good public awareness about breastfeeding in rural areas. But, still there no awareness in metro cities, private doctors too are unaware about breastfeeding. So this number must definitely increase.”
According to the World Health Organization, in India, China and Nigeria, 2, 38,000 babies die due to not being breastfed within an hour after birth. In India, in the year 2016-17, one crore 83 lakh babies, were given breastfeeding in the first hour.
The number of children breastfed in the following states
Maharashtra 15, 68,169
Bihar 19, 77,000
Uttar Pradesh 33, 06,000
Breastfeeding counsellor Dr Swati Bhide said, “This ratio has to be increased. Therefore, training should be given to the mother about how to breastfeed since she pregnancy. Women don’t have enough knowledge about this. For this, breastfeeding counsellors should be appointed in private and government-run hospitals. Another reason for this is that there is no education about breastfeeding in the college syllabus. This is also necessary. If this happens, the situation will improve.”