World Breast Feeding Week- August 1st- August 7th.
World breastfeeding week is already here and its time we talk about the role it plays in a baby's health. This year, the theme chosen for the World breastfeeding week is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding'. The #WBW2019 slogan was chosen to be inclusive of all types of parents in today's world. Focusing on supporting both parents to be empowered is vital to realize their breastfeeding goals. The world breastfeeding awareness week is celebrated from August 1st to August 7, this year.
To create awareness on breastfeeding and its significance, we at EeYuva attempted to interact with Dr. Janaki Vellanki, Asst. professor at Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad.
Taking Care From The Time Of Pregnancy
We started with, asking about the care that should be taken from the time of pregnancy, which helps in safe breastfeeding. Dr. Janaki says, “Regular check-ups and required vaccinations with the doctor should be taken without missing, to allow the doctor to check how the process of producing the milk is happening. She also added that during these checkups, the doctor examines the breasts and helps in correcting and curing of any abnormalities, if detected”.
Feeding The Baby With Mother's Milk Till 6 Months
Further interacting, she spoke about how malnutrition still exists in India and how breastfeeding is important to babies until six months. She stressed the point that babies should only be given mother's milk until the age of six months and not even water should be given, during this period.
Benefits Of Breast Feeding
When asked about the benefits the baby acquires from having mother's milk, Dr. Janaki answered, “Breast milk is the natural food you can give to a baby. The baby is protected from many viruses and infections when breastfed. Upon all these, the baby grows to be an active child, having developed a bonding with a mother”.
“The major difference between the child grown up on having mothers milk and a child who isn’t given mothers milk has IQ differences and has a low immune system and is easily prone to infections,” she said.
WHO And TDAP
The WHO made it compulsory that a TDAP ( Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) shot to be given to all pregnant women during their third trimester to protect the baby from serious illness and complications of pertussis.
We asked about a woman who cannot produce breast milk and Dr. Janaki said that “First we try to find out why the mother is unable to produce milk and try various methods to help her produce milk. Certain drugs and also traditional Indian food like garlic are given to the mother which ill help in producing the milk”.
Concluding on the topic, Dr. Janaki spoke about how awareness can be created among parents on breastfeeding. She said that nurses at hospitals should take counseling classes to pregnant ladies and motivate and encourage them to breastfeed. She also added that 'Baby-friendly Hospital desks”, should be placed at various places in large numbers to help counsel the to-be-mothers on breastfeeding and its importance and how essential it is to the babies.
A mother's milk is no doubt a healthy and natural first food to any baby. Mothers need to acquire proper knowledge about breastfeeding and tips to produce milk, to give a healthy living to their babies.
Information Source: Dr. Janaki Vellanki, Asst. Prof., Gandhi Medical College.
(Image courtesy: Shuttershock)