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Women's Month: Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed regardless of HIV status

07 August 2018

The Ekurhuleni metro has joined the world community to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week to promote health and sustainable development.

The state is nudging its way to better access to breastmilk for infants under 6 months, with 50 per cent of children in Haryana are exclusively breastfed. It means the child will not be giving water or herbal concoction for a whole six months.

However, there is broad consensus among many organizations, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the World Health Organization to UNICEF, that breastfeeding is optimal for mothers and babies when it is possible. Breast milk has a balance of protein, fat and sugar that is ideal for infant development, as well as antibodies that help babies fight off infections. It saves women's lives and contributes to human capital development. It also helps prepare children for a prosperous future.

· Even at night the baby should be breastfed. Those who began breast feeding between 2 and 23 hours after birth had a 33% greater risk of neonatal death compared with those who began breastfeeding within one hour of birth. The city's Maternal, Child, Women and Man's health manager, Thembane Masina, has encouraged exclusive breastfeeding by both HIV negative or positive mothers. After six months, breastfeeding should be continued along with other nourishing foods for the baby. Comforting the young mother, I then urge her to hold her baby to her breast and feed it. It also boosts the child's Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and lowers his or her tendency of developing into a violent adult. Other challenges can arise around a woman's milk supply or an infant's ability to latch on to the breast. There are several reasons, ranging from lack of awareness, to low confidence level of the mother. Let breastfeeding and Mother's Own Milk (MOM) rock. A six months leave will provide ample opportunity for the practice of exclusive breastfeeding.

When I speak of my own experience, the ecosystem back then gave pregnancy far more importance than breastfeeding. In fact, breastfeeding rates within the first hour after birth are highest in eastern and southern Africa (65%) and lowest in east Asia and the Pacific (32%), the report said. It also contains growth factors which help the intes- tine to mature and reduce intolerance.

"But these are actually signs that the woman's body has adjusted to the baby's feeding requirement". This is usually about 8 times during the day and 4 times at night but there should be no limit this is just a guide. During the same period, the rates of early initiation of breastfeeding decreased from 40 per cent to 27 per cent. Breastfeeding is important to child survival in all settings, but also to ensuring that children can thrive and reach their full cognitive and developmental potentials throughout their lives.

Even African countries like Rwanda and Malawi have performed better with over 80% newborns initiated into breastfeeding within one hour of their birth.

Women's Month: Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed regardless of HIV status