L-G highlights importance of breastfeeding

Tamilisai Soundararajan. File   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Sunday appealed to all mothers to breastfeed their newborns as the mother’s milk had several unique health-promoting and protective properties for the parent and the child.

In a public message during the launch of World Breastfeeding Week, Ms. Soundararajan urged mothers to breastfeed the newborn within the first hour of delivery, adopt exclusive breastfeeding for a period of six months and include it in the child’s diet for about two years thence.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), while recommending early initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, have advised breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond, alongside the introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary solid foods at six months.

According to UNICEF, current research suggests that the risk of chronic disease is higher in those who were not breastfed when compared to those who were breastfed at infancy.

Breast milk is said to contain an array of natural antibiotics which help protect the infants from infectious illnesses such as gastritis, diarrhoea and pneumonia. The purpose of the week-long celebrations was to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and bust myths, the Lt. Governor said.

In fact, the ongoing vaccination drive against COVID-19 is also focused on dispelling misconceptions about the safety of vaccines for pregnant women and lactating mothers. On the basis of the guidelines of WHO and the Union Health Ministry, pregnant women and lactating mothers are being administered the vaccine.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 4:32:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/l-g-highlights-importance-of-breastfeeding/article35672866.ece

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