P.D. Hinduja College of Nursing, in affiliation with the Maharashtra University of Heath Sciences (MUHS), has launched India’s first lactation consultant course for nurses. The nursing college, which is recognised by the Indian Nursing Council (INC) and Maharashtra Nursing Council (MNC), will begin this course on December 04, 2017.
A mother’s breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients that an infant need in the first six months of his/her life and newborns need to be breastfed within half an hour of being born. However, national data sources state that only 44 per cent of newborns are breastfed within the stipulated time in India; a total of only 12 million out of 26 million.
Lactation consultants specialise in the field of breastfeeding and provide mothers with breastfeeding education, solutions to various breastfeeding related problems and, help with babies that are not gaining enough weight.
Addressing the launch of the new course, Dr Jaya Kuruvilla, Principal, P.D. Hinduja Nursing College said, “Most mothers today are unaware of the crucial role that breast milk plays in their newborns life. Children are born immature and therefore breast milk, apart from providing newborns with the necessary vitamins and minerals, also helps the child grow physically.”
She added, “Through this new course, our goal is to close the gap between the existent lack of knowledge and ideal practices of breastfeeding that need to be followed.”
Urbanisation had led to several mothers moving away from the practice of breastfeeding, to using various substitutes such as artificial milk/formula milk, animal milk and water, thereby, unknowingly depriving their infants. This deprivation makes infants 15 times more prone to death due to pneumonia and 11 times more prone to death due to diarrhoea.
Mr Gautam Khanna, CEO, P.D. Hinduja Hospital and MRC said, “It brings me great pride to be part of an institution that is bringing to India its first ‘Lactation Nurse Practitioner’ program that will make a huge difference to the lives of mothers.”
He further stated, “Children that are not breastfed are susceptible to the risk of middle ear infections; lower respiratory tract infection, allergies, diabetes, asthma, childhood leukaemia, childhood obesity and sudden infant death syndrome, along with a severe impact on the overall IQ of the child. Mothers that do not breastfeed are also prone to an increased risk of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight gain, and osteoporosis.”