Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed regardless of their HIV status

World breastfeeding week Did you know the benefits of breastfeeding

This year's World Breastfeeding Week should help us to recommit to doing more to help every child, everywhere, realize the lifesaving benefits of breastfeeding, no matter where they live.

Abuja - Dr Chris Isokpunwu, Head of Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health, says exclusive breastfeeding saves lives, boosts economy and contributes to better health outcomes for women and children.

Now in Ethiopia, only 58 percent of mothers are aware of the significance of breastfeeding for children till six months without any additional food and water, she stated. The findings from WHO and partners estimate that global economic losses from lower cognition associated with not breastfeeding reached more than US$ 300 billion in 2012, equivalent to 0.49 per cent of the world's gross national income. The city's Maternal, Child, Women and Man's health manager, Thembane Masina, has encouraged exclusive breastfeeding by both HIV negative or positive mothers.

Initiating breastfeeding within first hour of birth is crucial to avert neonatal deaths as well as to ensure proper growth and development of a child. Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulate the mother's production of breastmilk, including colostrum, also called the baby's "first vaccine", which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies. As a perfectly adapted nutritional supply, breast milk is the ultimate personalised medicine which may save about 820,000 lives a year, 87 per cent of them infants under 6 months of age. He based his summation of the FOAD Hypothesis (Fatal origin of adult disease) which is premised on the fact that environmental factors particularly nutrition, act in early life to program risks for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in adult life.

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"In 1990, no woman knew about exclusive breastfeeding".

· Even at night the baby should be breastfed. The percentage of exclusively breastfed children in Pakistan has remained static, with just a microscopic increase evident over the last seven years. Let breastfeeding and Mother's Own Milk (MOM) rock.

Speakers at a post-rally discussion in Rajshahi on Thursday mentioned that sufficient breastfeeding is of paramount importance for physical and mental development of babies.

The report reveals that breastfeeding rates within the first hour after birth are highest in Eastern and Southern Africa (65%) and lowest in East Asia and the Pacific (32%). To boost exclusive breastfeeding, the Global Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative, led by UNICEF and World Health Organization in collaboration with worldwide partners, are providing leadership to improve breastfeeding rates. Supportive healthcare systems, adequate maternity leave entitlements, workplace interventions, counselling and educational programmes can all help to improve breastfeeding rates. If the child is above six months of age, the child will also receive complementary feeding.

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