Breastfeeding : Best by all counts

O P Sharma
World Breast- feeding Week (Aug 1-7) is being observed with enthusiasm in UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as elsewhere in the country and across the globe as well . During this period a special theme is selected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for wide public discussion and debates to create awareness about the importance and need for projecting and promoting the healthful practice of breast-feeding. The topic for the current year 2020 is : “Support breastfeeding for healthier Planet).


World Breastfeeding Week
Aug 1-Aug 7

A detailed week-long programme has been drawn up for celebrations for sensitising the people, general public particularly the pregnant women and lactating mothers the urgency and need for breast-feeding the infants for their healthy and disease-free life. The present administration has geared up its efforts to carry on this campaign for optimal public participation and positive results. The medical institutions, civil society with many Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as also individuals are actively engaged in this sustained and concerted endeavour to sensitize all about the benefits of breast-feeding of the new- born babies. The fashion of milk bottle feeding poses some dangers and health hazards hampering the smooth growth and development of the infants. There certainly is danger of unhygienic and unhealthy practices which may cause ill-health or hamper faster growth of the new borns.
Milk is Nectar
The medical science has established that the mother’s milk is most nutritious for child’s full and faster growth during infancy and lays a firm foundation for healthful and happy life in future. The theme of the current year, especially in the context of prevailing pandemic is very crucial and so must be adopted by everyone across the world.
It has amply been proved that milk contains lot of nutrients like Protein, Vitamins, Carbohydrates, Iron, Calcium, Fats and many other nutrients which are very necessary at the infant stage of the child for their faster future development– physical, mental, social, and overall growth. If the new generation is strong and stout the entire humanity of our planet will be healthy and happy having bright future.
Rich Indian Traditions
India’s traditions, in fact, are also in favour of breast-feeding as milk is considered very important and essential component of our daily diet of infants.
During the week, efforts will be made to educate the masses particularly the pregnant mother and lactating mothers about all the healthy practices including breast-feeding and also going in for immunisation and other such beneficial programmes. The infants need mother’s milk most and at the same time the medical attention is to be paid to the pregnant mother’s medical condition, proper diet, healthful habits and full attention during child birth and also pre-natal and post-natal medical care in our medical institutions.
It is known the world over that most special moment of woman’s life is the time when she becomes a mother and her entire world transforms to begin a unique new journey of motherhood. Her full attention now get focussed on her new born baby, male or even female.
World Health Organization pleads that every mother must breast feed their children just few hours after birth of the baby up to six months, where no other liquid or food is given other than mother’s milk. They can continue it till one or even two years. It is medically advised that the breast of a mother produces thick and yellowish fluid called colostrums during first days after delivery which is high in protein, low in sugar and loaded with beneficial compounds. It helps newborn’s immature digestive tract to develop and provides immunity to the new borns.
Vigorous Campaign
It is worth mentioning here that the Central and State Government have launched various schemes for the maternity and child care. The ongoing Janani Suaraksha Yojana (SKY) is a safe motherhood intervention under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM). It is being implemented with impressive results throughout the country as well as Jammu and Kashmir. The focus of this programme is specially on women belonging to poor sections of the society.
In addition to adequate medical care and facilities the poor pregnant women are provided financial assistance also. The vast change over the years is that the female new born too are welcome now. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly stressed for giving due attention to females as equal partners in the development of the nation and building a New India.
The urgent need and benefits of breast-feeding the child is to take care of their growth and also prevention of many common ailments through breast-feeding and also immunization programmes with encouraging results. It is now well known that if the children are healthy and happy, it is going to build a strong nation.
Sharp Focus
In Jammu and Kashmir UT, with difficult terrain, low income and backwardness, it is all the more essential to educate the people about provision of adequate medical facilities in every nook and corner of this Jammu and Kashmir and also sensitizing about the immense benefits of breast-feeding and various immunization schemes to prevent different common ailments and also lower the infant mortality. The best remedy is to make the people fully understand that mothers’ milk is nectar for the new born babies.


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