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.
The 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.