Wednesday October 17, 2018
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Breastfeeding of new-born babies during the first hour after birth is less than 50 percent in India

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: Only 44.6% Indian mothers are able to breastfeed their babies within the first hour after birth, the lowest among South Asian countries.

babymThe findings have been revealed in a report prepared by the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) and the Public Health Resource Network (PHRN) as part of WHO’s World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi), according to Times of India report.

The TOI quotes Arun Gupta, the BPNI central coordinator as saying: “It is not understandable why only 44% of women are able to begin breastfeeding within an hour when more than 75% of women deliver in institutions as claimed by PM Modi.”

The WBTi revealed that out of 150 points, India scored only 78 in breastfeeding assessment. This is only a marginal improvement over 2012 score of 74. The report further suggests that out of out of 26 million children who are born in India, as much as 14.5 million children may have been deprived of optimal feeding during their first year.

Though, only 44.6% children are fed within first hour of their birth, around 64.9% children get breastfed till 6 months. Around 50.5% babies get complementary food within 6-8 months.

Lack of monitoring, absence of data, inefficient policies are among the reasons that has resulted in India performing poorly. The recommendations given in the report to improve this situation includes: effective monitoring, national policy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), maternity protection and revival of baby-friendly hospitals.

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Breast Milk Boosts Brain Development in Premature Babies

For the study, the team analysed MRI brain scans of a small number of babies

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Breastmilk
Breastmilk aids in combatting diseases in Newborns. Pixabay.

Premature babies fed with breast milk are more likely to have better brain development than those fed on formula milk, a new study has found.

According to studies, pre-term birth is associated with changes in the part of the brain’s structure that helps brain cells to communicate with one another, known as white matter.

However, this research showed that pre-term babies who exclusively received breast milk for at least three-quarters of the days spent in hospital showed improved brain connectivity, compared to babies who consumed less.

“Our findings suggest that brain development in the weeks after pre-term birth is improved in babies who receive greater amounts of breast milk,” said James Boardman, Director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh.

“The study highlights the need for more research to understand the role of early life nutrition for improving long-term outcomes for pre-term babies, he added.

Premature birth is associated with the possibilities of an increased risk of the decline of cognitive skills in later life, which are thought to be linked to alterations in brain development.

Breast Milk
Breast milk may help boost preemies’ brain development. Pixabay

Helping mothers to provide breast milk in the weeks after giving birth could improve long-term outcomes for children born pre-term, the researchers noted, in the paper published in the journal NeuroImage.

“Mothers of pre-term babies should be supported to provide breast milk while their baby is in neonatal care — if they are able to and if their baby is well enough to receive milk — because this may give their children the best chance of healthy brain development,” Boardman said.

For the study, the team analysed MRI brain scans of a small number of babies.

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The babies were born before 33 weeks gestation and scans took place when they reached term-equivalent age, an average of 40 weeks from conception.

The effects were greatest in babies who were fed breast milk for a greater proportion of their time spent in intensive care. (IANS)

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