Every year, from the 1st to the 7th of August, the world celebrates Breastfeeding Week. It is observed to promote breastfeeding and to improve the health of children and mothers worldwide.
Breastfeeding Week’s theme for the year 2021 is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.”
Can Protect Foundation organised an awareness programme on the importance of breastfeeding in Dehradun on 6th August 2021 for health care providers, nurses, and new mothers.
Senior gynaecologist and well-known cancer activist Dr Sumita Prabhakar urged mothers to breastfeed their newborns within the first hour of delivery, practise exclusive breastfeeding for six months, and incorporate it into the child’s diet for approximately two years. Take special care to ensure that lifestyle changes do not have an adverse effect on breastfeeding.
Dr Apoorv Jain, Paediatrician, CMI Hospital, Dehradun, emphasises the importance of breastfeeding, saying, “Breastfeeding protects newborns from illness and also helps them throughout their infancy and childhood.” It is particularly effective against infectious diseases, as it strengthens the immune system directly from the mother,”
Breastfeeding has numerous advantages. Mother’s milk contains the optimal combination of nutrients for the baby’s physical and intellectual development. It is readily available at the appropriate temperature and is easily digested by the infant’s intestine.
Why feeding breast milk is necessary
According to Dr Sumita Prabhakar, Senior Gynecologist at CMI Hospital and President of Can Protect Foundation, the antibodies in breast milk protect the infant against infections, allergies, asthma, and other digestive disturbances, thereby lowering neonatal and infant mortality.
Breastfeeding reduces a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer
During the event, Dr Sumita stated that breastfeeding can help women reduce their risk of carcinogenesis and provide much-needed protection against breast cancer.
Numerous studies have established that breastfeeding mothers have a lower risk of breast cancer.
The covid vaccine is not harmful to nursing mothers
Dr Sumita Prabhakar stated that the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign also aims to dispel myths about the safety of vaccines for pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers are being vaccinated following WHO and Union Health Ministry guidelines, and the Can Protect Foundation is spreading awareness through online mediums.
COVID-19 and breastfeeding
Even when infected with Covid 19, mother’s milk is safe
Breastfeeding is possible throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. The virus is not spread via breast milk. However, if the mother is infected, she must exercise extreme caution to protect the newborn.
Breastfeeding must continue in the COVID-19 pandemic
Hand washing before and after touching the baby, wearing a proper mask, not sneezing near the baby, and keeping surfaces clean and disinfected are all precautions that a COVID positive mother should take during breastfeeding.
Alternatively, Dr. Sumita explains, a pump can be used to collect the milk and the baby can be fed via a feeding bottle.
On this occasion, Dr. Apoorva Jain, Dr. Vinita, Dr. Pooja, Dr. Deepika, and the nursing staff were present.