Thursday, July 30, 2015
Highlighting the significance of breastfeeding for optimal child health, nutritional status, development and survival, the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) Krishna district branch is organising programmes during the first week of August celebrating World Breastfeeding Week.
As stated by the President and Secretary of the branch, it has long been known that breastfeeding is the best intervention to improve child nutrition. Research has furnished concrete evidence that 22% of neonatal deaths can be avoided by breastfeeding within an hour of birth.
The prevention of morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoea and pneumonia can be achieved by breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Optimal breastfeeding can also help improve the intelligence quotient of an individual and keep both undernutrition and overnutrition at bay.
The IAP office-bearers have reported that over the last 7 years, the maternity protection status in India has slid down from 5 to 3.5 on a scale of 10. This clearly indicates poor care for the health of infants and mothers. Thus, in light of the forthcoming World Breastfeeding Week, the IAP has put across four demands:
• Six months of maternity leave for working women regardless of the working sector
• One or more paid breastfeeding leaves and flexible working hours/schedules
• Provision of apt infant and child care services such as baby care centres and crèches at workplaces
• Provision of facilities to store breast milk at workplaces
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