Staff Reporter

A trained person will be present on a continuous basis

CHENNAI: A Lactation Counselling Room will soon be opened at the Institute of Child Health (ICH) here to clarify the doubts of young mothers, who have begun breastfeeding their babies. ICH director Saradha Suresh said a trained person would be present at the room on a continuous basis.

Speaking at a function to mark World Breastfeeding Week, she said mothers have various doubts about feeding their babies.

UNICEF State representative Suresh Kumar said the system of certifying hospitals that conducted deliveries as ‘Baby friendly’ must be revived. Obstetric Society of Southern India president Jayashree Gajaraj said expectant mothers must be taught about the importance of breastfeeding during pregnancy.

ICH Deputy Superintendent K. Githa said the hospital had planned week-long programmes, including quiz for nursing students, programme for mothers at Medavakkam PHC and also a discussion with students of Ethiraj College.

Breast milk bank

Other hospitals too organised functions to mark the day. The event organised by Kanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust Hospital was inaugurated by Carnatic musician Sudha Raghunathan. Senior Consultant – Neonatologist Rahul Yadav said it had plans to start a breast milk bank.

The hospital would send a team of doctors and technicians for training a private hospital in Mumbai.

Senior Consultant – Paediatrics Lalitha Janakiraman said as part of the week-long celebrations, the hospital would be organising outreach programmes for residents of Sita Nagar slum in Nungambakkam and at Jafferkhanpet.

On Friday, a well baby contest and a poster competition for students of nursing students were conducted.

Exhibition

At the Institute of Social Paediatrics (ISP) of Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital, an exhibition about the importance of breastfeeding was organised. Hospital dean (in charge) T. Venkatakrishnan said breastfeeding reduced incidences of breast cancer among women and also helped in preventing immediate conception after delivery.

ISP director (in charge) Sujatha Sridharan said several programmes including a group discussion for mothers, a human chain, discussion for staff and student nurses would be conducted.

Appeal to Chief Minister

TN-FORCES (Forum For Creche and Child Care Services in Tamil Nadu), has appealed to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that monetary assistance under Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Scheme to eligible mothers be provided even in exceptional domestic deliveries. It has also sought to increase the income ceiling under the scheme from Rs.12,000 to Rs.24,000.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL