Breastfeeding week is celebrated from 1st August to 7th August every year across the world. It is celebrated to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of children and mothers around the world. This year, the theme of Breastfeeding Week is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”.
An awareness program on the importance of breastfeeding was organized by Can Protect Foundation in Dehradun on 6th August 2021 in which Dr Sumita Prabhakar appealed to all mothers to breastfeed their newborn babies.
Workshop for health workers, nurses and women and workshop on breastfeeding for patients was organized at CMI Hospital Dr. Sumita Prabhakar urged the mothers to breastfeed the newborn baby within the first hour of delivery, Adopt exclusive breastfeeding for a period of six months and include it in the diet of the child for about two years. Take special care that changing lifestyle does not affect breastfeeding.
The benefits of breastfeeding are manifold. Mother’s milk contains the right mix of nutrients for the physical and intellectual development of the baby. It is available at the right temperature and is easily digested in the baby’s intestine.
Dr Apoorva Jain, Pediatrician at CMI Hospital said that the antibodies in breast milk protect the baby from infections, allergies, asthma and other digestive disturbances, thereby reducing neonatal and infant mortality.
Dr Sumita said during the event that breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of carcinogenesis in women and provides much-needed protection against breast cancer. Various studies have proved that mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Dr Sumita Prabhakar informed that the ongoing vaccination campaign against COVID-19 is also focused on dispelling misconceptions about the safety of vaccines for pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers are being vaccinated on the basis of the guidelines of WHO and Union Health Ministry, for which awareness is being spread through online mediums by the Can Protect Foundation.
Breastfeeding can be done even during the COVID 19 pandemic. The virus is not transmitted through breast milk. However, the mother needs to take utmost care to protect the newborn if she is infected.
Washing hands before and after touching the baby, wearing a proper mask and not sneezing near the baby, keeping surfaces clean and disinfected are precautions to be taken during breastfeeding for a COVID positive mother.
Alternatively, a pump can be used to collect the milk and the baby can be fed from a feeding bottle, explains Dr. Sumita.
Dr. Apoorva Jain, Dr. Vinita, Dr. Pooja, Dr. Deepika, Nursing personnel were present on this occasion.