STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Collective effort to revamp mother, baby-friendly hospital initiative

At a time  when Kerala is receiving global appreciation for its health index, the breastfeeding rate has come down in the state owing to a set of social and economic reasons.

Published: 01st August 2021 04:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2021 04:27 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THRISSUR: At a time  when Kerala is receiving global appreciation for its health index, the breastfeeding rate has come down in the state owing to a set of social and economic reasons. With the World Breastfeeding Week being observed from Sunday (August 1 to 7), a collective effort is under way by the state chapter of Indian Academy of Paediatricians (IAP) and the health department to revamp the Mother and Baby-Friendly Hospitals Initiative (MBFAHI) to promote breastfeeding. 

Back in 2002, Unicef and WHO had given Kerala the title of the world’s first ‘baby-friendly state’, with the breastfeeding rates at 98%. Kerala’s success in reducing infant death and disease by encouraging natural methods and regulating baby food, feeding bottles and plastic teats had earned it global recognition.

However, the latest report of the National Family Health Survey indicates the breastfeeding rate in the state has dropped to 50.3% in urban and 59.5% in rural areas. Newborns breastfed within one hour of birth has also decreased to 66.7% in the state. 

In an effort to improve the situation, the MBFAH initiative under the IAP, in association with the state government, gynaecologists’ association and nurses’ association, is organising training programmes to promote breastfeeding.

“So far, 16,000 nursing students in private institutions and 1,200 in government colleges have been trained. Two aspects are especially important for the better growth of child — breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months. Various aspects like maternity leave, economic background, influence of infant meals, and misunderstaning of concepts have affected the breastfeeding habit. An effective intervention at all levels will be made to improve the situation,” said Ananda Kesavan T  M,  chairman of MBFHI of IAP Kerala.

Experts suggest three steps to improve the breastfeeding rate — appointing Lactation Consultants in all major hospitals with a maternity wing, setting up breastfeeding rooms in public places like bus stands, railway station, etc., and strict regulations on Infant Milk Substitutes. 

“Certification courses for Lactation Consultants will help new mothers continue breastfeeding despite the physical and mental stress related to it,” Anantha Kesavan added.


TAGS
Kerala

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp