Here's Why Breastfeeding is Important for Both the Mother and the Baby

Thursday, 03 Aug, 2017

The findings highlighted that 78 per cent of Indian mothers planned to exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months post-delivery to ensure a strong and healthy foundation for the child.The survey was conducted to find recent trends and breastfeeding habits of Indian mothers.

Doctors say breastfeeding has important health benefits for both the mother and the baby and it also helps develop an emotional bond between them.

The report, updating global science on breast cancer, also found that breast-fed babies are less likely to gain excess weight as they grow, which could reduce their cancer risk later in life.

The organization is calling for $5.7 billion - or $4.70 per newborn - in funding over the next decade to improve global exclusive breast-feeding rates, which now fall at 40%, according to Lucy Sullivan, MBA, executive director of 1,000 Days, an organization that works toward improving nutrition between pregnancy and infanthood for mothers and their children.

Anthony Lake, head of the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, said promoting breastfeeding was one of the most cost-effective investments nations could make in the future health of their economies and societies.

Dr Abo Hamed said that any amount of breast milk is beneficial, and the longer mothers breastfeed their babies, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.

The Scorecard compiles data from countries all over the world on the status of seven priorities set by the Global Breastfeeding Collective to increase the rate of breastfeeding.

Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of World Health Organization said in a statement that mothers should start breastfeeding within one hour of birth and continue until the child is two years old. Each year, governments in lower- and middle-income countries spend approximately $250 million on breastfeeding promotion - donors provide only an additional $85 million.

This year's celebration of breast feeding week coincided with the inauguration of Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative (BAI).

"If you are a mother, breast milk is perfectly suited for your baby, and it has long-term benefits for your baby, which last until adulthood".

This is despite the fact that established medical evidence shows it protects babies from infection and improves their mental and physical development.

With this year's theme "Sustaining Breastfeeding Together,"‎ decision makers, partners and relevant stakeholders in the health sector are charged to forge purposeful affiliations that will yield improved health interventions for Nigerians and rid the country of the negative health statistics registered at the West African Region as well as globally.

During this week, the organisation celebrates breastfeeding and raises awareness to enhance a connection between breastfeeding and the United Nations' Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

It promotes bonding between mother and the baby.