Paediatricians on Saturday sought to dispel some wrong notions among women, particularly those from rural areas, that breastfeeding affected their beauty, among various other myths. They said that on the contrary breastfeeding could enhance their beauty.
Addressing presspersons here, Dr. Banapurmutt, Dr. Suresh Babu, Dr. Koujalgi, Dr. Dakshyanidevaru and Dr. Mruthyanjaya said that according to a survey, many women wrongly believed that breastfeeding would affect their physical beauty. They said research had shown that the opposite was true. Breastfeeding would also protect newborns from various diseases, they added. “Do not deprive your child of mother's milk. This may result in the children developing complications,” the doctors warned and emphasised that any readymade food administered to babies in their first year could have devastating effects.
The Bapuji Child Health Institute, the Dr. Nirmala Kesaree Paediatric Academic Trust, the PSS Women and Child Welfare Trust, the Infant and Young Child Feeding Promotion Association of Karnataka State and the Davangere unit of the Indian Paediatric Society are jointly observing Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7 here.
Over 30 maternity hospitals in the district are participating in the programme, and a workshop has been organised as part of the event, for nurses, paramedical staff, anganawadi workers and Accredited Social Health Activists, to motivate mothers to compulsorily breastfeed their newborns at least for a year. The paediatricians will also urge industries, major businesses and various organisations to set up crèches in their offices so that women on duty could breastfeed their children. The doctors also suggested that organisations provide at least eight months maternity leave.
During the workshop, a team of doctors will educate nurses, anganawadi workers and social health activists about the various aspects of breastfeeding. They will also be trained to counsel and support mothers in optimal infant feeding.
To a question, Dr. Banapurmutt said the infant mortality rate (IMR) had come down to 54 this year in Karnataka from 74 in 2005.