More than 120 countries celebrate the “World Breastfeeding Week” which is held every year from August 1st to 7th in order to influence new moms for breastfeeding. The organization responsible for the worldwide health “World Health Organization” also says that breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. The idea for breastfeeding week this year is 'Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.' Due to the wake of COVID-19, the idea will help in spreading awareness among the new mothers.
As we know that World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated to motivate breastfeeding and improve the health of babies across the globe. The history of this week was started in the year 1990 when the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) created the ‘Innocent Declaration’ to encourage and support breastfeeding. Then in 1991, to implement UNICEF and WHO's objective, a federation was established named the ‘World Association of Breastfeeding Action’. From 1992 onwards, the federation dedicated a whole first week of August to promote this campaign.
Health Benefits For Mom And Baby Of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is also termed nursing. The most ancient and best way to facilitate young infants with the all essential nutrients required for growth and development. World Health Organization states that breastmilk is the quintessential food for infants, the reason is, it is safe, clean, and works as the newborn babies’ first vaccine, also, protects them against many common childhood illnesses.
As the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of India, says that there are many benefits of breastfeeding in babies. GOI also updated the list of benefits on Twitter on August 1st. The official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reads the post as - "it helps boost the immune system of the infant, lowers the infant mortality rate, lowers the risk of developing infections such as respiratory tract infections, diabetes, allergic diseases, and childhood leukemia. It also helps enhance the cognitive function of the baby. Additionally, breastmilk is extremely nutritious and healthy for the baby and can help the baby develop a healthy weight."
How To Deal With Covid-19 And Breastfeeding
Amidst the COVID-19, various misinformation is circulating for breastfeeding. Therefore, World Health Organisation issues an official statement that says "transmission of active Covid-19 through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected to date. There is no reason to avoid or stop breastfeeding."
Also, in case, a mother of an infant baby with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 can breastfeed if they wish to do so with some precautions. As per WHO’s guidelines a mother should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before breastfeeding and in case the water is not available then one can use hand sanities with at least 60 percent alcohol content and the mother should always wear a mask during any contact with the baby, including while feeding.
Therefore, in any such condition, breastfeeding for newborn babies is very essential for their proper growth as it is the only complete food for them. So, the whole idea of campaigning under the slogan ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility' this year is to motivate breastfeeding amidst CPOVD-19.
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