Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Three in every five newborns not breastfed in first hour of life

60% of babies ‘at risk due to breastfeeding delay after birth’ WHO urges breastfeeding immediately after birth
Delores Daniels | 01 August, 2018, 23:38

Breastfeeding offers both mothers and babies a host of benefits.

PAHO is also calling on governments in the Region to continue efforts to strengthen those measures already in place to protect, promote and support the right to breastfeeding. And according to the latest figures, the gap between well educated Nigerian mothers and those with no education or primary education is closing.

In Egypt, only 19% of babies born by C-section were breastfed in the first hour after birth, compared to 39% of babies born by natural delivery.

They also recommend that children be exclusively breastfed for the first six months - meaning no other foods or liquids, including water.

The report entitled "Capture the Moment", by the United Nations children's fund, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, WHO, was released ahead of the World Breastfeeding Week, which celebrated annually from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world by providing infants with the nutrients they need. This had risen to about 33% indicating a gain of 10% within 5 years.

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Increasing awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and making it more accessible for women is key in promoting such policies, said Sascha Mayer, co-founder of Mamava, which provides portable lactation suites for a number of facilities, including airports, translations, sports stadiums and other locations.

On the other hand, healthnews.africa contributor and public health expert, Dr. Adetola Oladimeji, blamed the Nigerian outlook on the impact of traditional beliefs and ignorance.

According to her, some women believe that colostrum, the first breastmilk produced by the mother, is dirty and should be milked out and thrown away.

There are varying beliefs, she said.

An estimated 78 million babies - or three out of five - worldwide are not breastfed within the first hour of life which puts them at higher risk of death and diseases and lower their chances of meeting physical and mental growth standards, according to a new UNICEF and World Health Organization report.

At least 10 dead, 40 hurt as 6.4 quake hits Indonesia island
We were very surprised as the water in the pools was swaying like a wild sea. "The people in the villages may have damages". The shallow quake set off landslides on the mountain that's carpeted in boulders and rocks, blocking usual paths out.

World Health Organization recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed during their first six months, and that colostrum - the sticky breast milk produced towards the end of pregnancy - is given to infants within the first hour after birth.

"When breastfeeding is delayed after birth, the consequences can be life-threatening - and the longer newborns are left waiting, the greater the risk", the authors write. It should be noted that skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulates the mother's production of breast milk, including colostrum, also called the baby's "first vaccine", which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies. "If they start a concert (by crying), or if they are uncomfortable or too warm or don't feel at ease or are hungry. breastfeed them, don't be afraid, feed them, because this too is the language of love", he said in an improvised homily.

Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF's executive director, said in a statement, "When it comes to the start of breastfeeding, timing is everything".

It is important that women receive this support, as breastfeeding their infants can have health benefits for them too.

The report said most of the affected babies were born in low and middle-income countries. Just 41.5 percent of newborns in India are breastfed within an hour of being born.

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