World Breastfeeding Awareness Week in Chennai

By P T Usha Published on Jul 31, 2018 03:03 PM IST

Chennai: Motherhood, a healthcare hospital for women and children in Alwarpet, will be hosting this year's 'World Breastfeeding Awareness Week' from tomorrow with different events, in Chennai, to take the idea to young mothers and moms-to-be.

The campaign, 'Foundation of Life', will see discussions by experts about breastfeeding tips for working mothers, family support for breastfeeding mothers and taking care of infants at home.

Vijaya Meenakshi from Motherhood, who is conducting the event, told News Today, "Since birthing is our main area of interest, we have planned events like creating awareness among the public and training sessions for nurses. We think nurses play the main role in breastfeeding. They are responsible for the first feed to happen in a proper way as soon as the mother is out of the labour ward."

"Tomorrow (1 August) we are inviting people who work in the field of creating awareness about donating milk. In Chennai, there are a lot of maternity hospitals. Many mothers would have gone through bad labour and may not be in a condition to feed babies. At the same time, some mothers will have excess milk who have to expel it out. In this scenario, donation has to take place. We are also conducting a workshop on how to store the expressed breast milk, especially for working mothers. Although, mothers may be working, care cannot be compromised. So, storing your milk in a proper way is important," said Vijaya.

She added, "We are also inviting mothers who are going to give birth in a month or two and teaching them what they should be doing for healthy breastfeed. Some may encounter problems like inverted nipples or baby may have a tongue-tie condition. So, this should be addressed within a proper time. We will have experts talking about this issue."

"Even if we can make a difference to one mother, it will be a success for us. So, we are looking forward to young moms and moms-to-be, to participate in the events," she said further.

For details, contact 95661 43803 / 044-4915 4444.

Gynaecologist, Dr Meera V V Raghavan, Gleneagles Global Health City, gives out various benefits of breastfeeding.

Women who practise breastfeeding ensure rapid weight loss and getting back into shape. It helps the womb to revert to its original size due to the release of oxytocin and thereby reduces blood loss. This in turn ensures lesser risk of anaemia during nursing.Fertility is on the decline during breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding alone acts as a good spacing method of natural contraception at least for 6 months. This is known as lactational amenorrhea method of contraception.

In the long-term, mothers who nurse have a lower risk of developing ovarian, breast and uterine cancer. They also have better bone density and have lesser risk of osteoporosis later in life.

As far as the newborn is concerned, the nutritional value is incomparable. The breast milk is enriched with higher protein content but is low in sugar and thereby imparts passive immunity to the baby due to innate antibodies in the milk.

This in turn reduces bacterial load in the baby’s gut and lesser chances of diarrhoeal diseases. These babies have lesser risk of colic too. Babies who are breastfed have lesser chances of developing allergies, dermatitis, eczema and asthma.

The rate of breastfeeding in India is 46 per cent whereas it is 48 per cent in Tamilnadu, according to Breastfeed Promotion Network of India. The organisation is said to be now working to increase this rate to 60 per cent by 2025.