Bhopal: Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet

Bhopal: In veiw of the ongoing World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 to 7) varied activities were held to raise awareness on the importance of Breastfeeding.

Nearly 45 participants from the rural Madhya Pradesh have taken part in a webinar, to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding and its significance for child growth.

The Catholic Health Association of Madhya Pradesh (CHAMP) in collaboration with Madhya Pradesh Samaj Seva Sanstha organised the webinar to mark World Breastfeeding Week.

Dr Shobha, a gynecologist, and the pediatrician was the main resource person for the webinar. She said breast milk is the first vaccine and it can prevent children from various diseases. It is a great gift of God to end malnutrition and hunger. She emphasised to provide a mother’s first milk as the perfect or ideal food for newborns which is called colostrums and therefore it is essential to breastfeed within the first hour of childbirth. This colostrums rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids, nutrients, sufficient water, and antibodies which not only nourishes but also protects children.

Dr Shobha also explained that mothers’ milk not only benefits the child but also the mothers as different researches reveal that exclusively breastfeeding has lower risks of cardiovascular diseases and reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

She disclosed the best practice for breastfeeding which is ABCS:

A for awareness - on-demand feeding,

B for Be patient - means feed baby as long as baby wants

C means - Comfort while breastfeeding.

Besides webinar, various activities also have been organised during this week, like wall painting, awareness sessions and counseling with social distancing for lactating mothers, promotion of nutritional food, sharing success stories of mothers, and dissemination of IEC materials on social media as well as at grassroots level. The activities were implemented in 16 districts of the state.

The queries and other questions on breastfeeding were addressed by the resource person. Fr Kiran, Director of CHAMP stated that breastfeeding is not merely a mother's task but it is the responsibility of family members too and their involvement and support to mothers in breastfeeding could bring the change in society and save the lives of children. The entire session was facilitated by Sheetal Arya, Regional Programme Officer, CHAMP and Natasha Sharma, Regional Programme Officer, MPSSS.

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