World breastfeeding week: Only 25% newborns in UP get mother’s milk in first hour of birth
As per the National Family Health Survey - 4 (for the year 2015-16), the percentage of newborns getting their mother’s first milk (colostrum) within the first hour of birth is even lower -- around 20%.Updated: Aug 01, 2017, 13:47 IST
Data shows that only 25% newborns in Uttar Pradesh get mothers’ milk -- manna that can shield them against all kinds of infections -- within the first hour of birth.
Also, just about 41.6% children in the state get exclusively breastfed up to six months of age. Studies say these are some of the reasons behind the high under-five mortality rate and poor growth in children, in Uttar Pradesh.
With this in view, the government has started campaigns to help couples, families and the society understand the importance of breastfeeding. “To give the matter impetus, we will conduct different activities all through the coming week,” said Prashant Trivedi, principal secretary -- medical health and family welfare, at a press conference here on Monday.
Alok Kumar, managing director, National Health Mission, said, “Data shows that 10 years ago, only 7% neonates were getting breastfed within the first hour of birth. This was due to myths such as newborns should be given honey before anything, or be given water first. Now, we stand at 25%, but we are not satisfied even with this figure.”
As per the National Family Health Survey - 4 (for the year 2015-16), the percentage of newborns getting their mother’s first milk (colostrum) within the first hour of birth is even lower -- around 20%.
Experts say the timing of breastfeeding can make the difference of life and death for the child. Colostrum is rich in antibodies and boosts the baby’s immunity at a time when the immune system is still developing. The composition of breast milk is unique to the mother and the child, made especially to address the baby’s needs.
In Uttar Pradesh, a lack of awareness around breastfeeding and misconceptions associated with it end up depriving a majority of kids from a host of health benefits. This has resulted in half the under-five population of the state (82 lakh children) being underweight. “Poor nutrition leads to poor health and low immunity and learning abilities,” said an expert.