Babies get mother’s milk in first hour at Vile Parle hospital

A doctor demonstates breastfeeding to new mothers at the breastfeeding camp held at Wadia Hospital on Monday, August 6, 2019

A doctor demonstates breastfeeding to new mothers at the breastfeeding camp held at Wadia Hospital on Monday, August 6, 2019   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

Nanavati hospital logs ‘golden hour’ breastfeed in 71% newborns in June, July

In the past two months, Vile Parle’s Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital (NSSH) has achieved early initiation of breastfeeding in nearly 71% newborn babies. Of the 56 babies born in June and July, almost 40 had their mother’s milk as the first feed within 60 minutes of birth, which is known as the golden hour.

Breastfeeding within the first hour of birth is crucial for building immunity as well as establishing skin-to-skin contact of the baby and the mother. The hospital carried out an audit of the birthing unit to understand the bottlenecks and constraints for early initiation of breastfeeding. “We began with sensitising all staff members through seminars, talks, and workshops about the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding and how it is lifesaving for both mother and child,” Dr. Gayatri Deshpande, consultant, gynaecology and obstetrics, NSSH, said.

The mothers too were sensitised through an antenatal counselling programme.

Babies get mother’s milk in first hour at Vile Parle hospital

From January to May, merely 17% of the 145 babies born in NSSH had received their mother’s milk as the first feed and within the golden hour. Of the 145, 51% of babies had received formula feed as their first feed. The sensitisation helped in improving the outcome and the figure changed during June and July, when only 7% of babies were given formula feed.

“A lot of factors contributed to this change. Earlier, many staff members would take this casually or the mother would not cooperate due to pain. But when they understood the importance, the response was extremely positive,” Dr. Juhi Shinde-Patil, lactation counsellor at the hospital, said. Early initiation has been missed out only in cases where the mother or baby were separated due to medical complications. “We have managed early initiation even in Caesarean cases as most of these procedures are now done under spinal anaesthesia,” she said.

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund recommend that children are breastfed within the first hour of birth and are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, meaning no other foods or liquids are provided, including water. But globally, three in five babies are not breastfed in the first hour. Dr. Prashant Gangal from the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India, Maharashtra, said achieving early initiation requires knowledge, will, and skill. “Various departments and staff, including doctors, nurses and lactation counsellors, have to work in tandem to achieve this. It all depends on how much importance one gives to this concept,” Dr. Gangal said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:45:38 PM |

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