Breastfeeding helpful in curtailing neonatal deaths

Published: August 11, 2017
Not only children, breastfeeding also protects mothers from deadly diseases. PHOTO: FILE

Not only children, breastfeeding also protects mothers from deadly diseases. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: As the world celebrates Breastfeeding Week, health experts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa say that people should know colostrum was equally beneficial to not only children but mother’s health as well.

They stated that colostrum, a mother’s first milk, not only safeguards children against different infectious diseases but also reduces the risk of post-partum hemorrhage that leads to many neonatal deaths.

Bottle feeding outstrips breastfeeding rate in Pakistan

“Breastfeeding also significantly alleviates chances of breast cancer in women,” said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Director General Health Dr Shabina Raza.

“The most important thing for a mother is her love towards the baby and vice versa. Since colostrum carry love hormones, they play a very important role,” Raza told The Express Tribune.

At least half of all neonatal and infant deaths can be prevented annually if mothers breastfeed their child sufficiently, or for the first six months.

Experts stressed the need for the government to make investments in awareness campaigns targeting mothers regarding the matter. They termed diarrhea, measles, and pneumonia as the three most prevalent diseases in the province.Less than 40% of married women breastfeed their kids and mostly educated mothers tend to avoid the practice by giving their children packed milk, experts said, adding that ‘formula milk’ is mixed with water which might contain germs in it.

Only 38% of Pakistani mothers breastfeed their infants

Dr Amin Jan Gandapur, a renowned pediatrician and Provincial President Pakistan Pediatric Association said the obsolete practice of not breastfeeding children was adopted from the West into the subcontinent.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2017.

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