Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
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Infants Should Be Breastfed In The First Hour Of Birth: Benefits

Infants Should Be Breastfed In The First Hour Of Birth: Benefits

"Current guidelines from the World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend babies should be breastfed within an hour of their birth and fed only by breastfeeding until they are six months old..."

"Colostrum, the thick, sticky, yellowish milk mothers produce during the first few days after delivery provides essential nutrients as well as antibodies to boost a baby's immune system". 'In many countries, it can even be a matter of life or death, ' she added.

It says mothers who start breastfeeding immediately find it easier to produce milk and that they tend to nurse longer.

Since UNICEF began to keep records, more educated women in Nigeria had been breastfeeding their babies within one hour of delivery. "The life-saving protection of breastfeeding is particularly important in humanitarian settings", said Unicef's India representative, Yasmin Ali Haque.

But an estimated 78 million babies, or nearly 60 percent of infants around the world, are not breastfed immediately-mostly in low- and middle-income countries.

Besides saving lives, breastfeeding is also best for the babies' development and growth.

The WHO and UNICEF-led Global Breastfeeding Collective also released the 2018 Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, which tracks progress for and urges countries to advance breastfeeding policies and programmes to help mothers breastfeed their babies in the first hour of life.

"We must urgently scale up support to mothers - be it from family members, healthcare workers, employers and governments, so they can give their children the start they deserve", he said. Almost all mothers can breastfeed and a variety of resources exist today for mothers facing challenges in breastfeeding.

The report also notes that skin-to-skin contact exposes babies to microorganisms on the mothers' skin and helps develop their immunity.

The report entitled "Capture the Moment", by the United Nations children's fund, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, WHO, was released ahead of the World Breastfeeding Week, which celebrated annually from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world by providing infants with the nutrients they need.

In Egypt, c-section rates more than doubled between 2005 and 2014, rising from 20 to 52 percent.

"Initiating breastfeeding within the first hour of life is no easy feat: mothers can not be expected to do it alone", the authors write. "The appropriate care of both newborn and mother in the moments after birth is critical to ensuring that breastfeeding not only begins but continues successfully". He said, "Babies have their own dialect".

Increasing awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and making it more accessible for women is key in promoting such policies, said Sascha Mayer, co-founder of Mamava, which provides portable lactation suites for a number of facilities, including airports, translations, sports stadiums and other locations. "That is exactly where the inspiration for the company came from - trying to make breastfeeding more of an authentic choice for moms". "But the millennial mom is a way different mind set, asserting her expectations to be treated fairly", Ms. Mayer said.

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