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Dependency on formula milk for infants on rise, warn docs

The dependency on formula milk has increased, as exclusive breastfeeding is not practised by new mothers adequately, say doctors in the city. This week is being observed as World Breastfeeding Week to create awareness about its benefits.

Dependency on formula milk for infants on rise, warn docs


According to experts, exclusive breastfeeding is necessary, as it improves the immunity of the child, helping to prevent contracting diarrhoea, pneumonia and other preventable diseases.

Discussing the advantages of breastfeeding, Dr Jayashree Jayakrishnan, lactation consultant at Fortis Malar Hospital, said that they aim to educate the importance of breastfeeding to the entire family in order to prepare them face the pregnancy and post pregnancy phase.

“It is important that the whole family involves in the post pregnancy phase in order to help the mother attain optimal breastfeeding as it provides positive effects on both the mother and child, thereby preventing malnutrition.” She added that it plays a very crucial role in maintaining good health and wellbeing of women and children.

According to a 2016 study published in the medical journal, The Lancet, breastfeeding in India is inadequate, with only 55 per cent of the babies are exclusively breastfed till six months and only 41 per cent begin breastfeeding within an hour of birth.

The follow up of the study published recently stated that inadequate breastfeeding results in 1,00,000 preventable child deaths, with 34.7 million cases of diarrhoea, 2.4 million cases of pneumonia, and 40,382 cases of obesity in India.

“Early weeks of breastfeeding is really challenging. Increasing breastfeeding rates is not just the responsibility of the mother but requires a collective support. Mothers should breastfeed as long as they can, as it directly impacts the child’s immunity,” said consultant gynaecologist Dr Premalatha.

Inadequate breastfeeding can impact mothers by causing breast cancer, ovarian cancer and type- 2 diabetes, she added.

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