Sunday November 18, 2018

Numbers of Woman Breastfeeding Their Babies in First Hour Declined in India

The US alone accounts for more than one-third of the 2.6 million babies in high-income countries who were never breastfed.

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The UN body released a new analysis on the number of babies missing out on breastfeeding which found that approximately 7.6 million babies each year were not breastfed globally.
Breastfeeding Mother, Pixabay
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In India, while over 79 per cent of women deliver in a health institution, only 41.6 per cent of them breastfeed within the first hour, Unicef said on Thursday.

The UN body released a new analysis on the number of babies missing out on breastfeeding which found that approximately 7.6 million babies each year were not breastfed globally.

The analysis noted that babies were much more likely to be breastfed at least once in low- and-middle-income countries like Bhutan (99 per cent), Madagascar (99 per cent) and Peru (99 per cent) than those born in Ireland (55 per cent), the US (74 per cent) or Spain (77 per cent).

The US alone accounts for more than one-third of the 2.6 million babies in high-income countries who were never breastfed.

In India, while over 79 per cent of women deliver in a health institution, only 41.6 per cent of them breastfeed within the first hour, Unicef said on Thursday.
Representational Image, Pixabay

According to the Unicef, 95 per cent children in India at some point were breast fed in their early years.

“The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data indicates that 54.9 per cent children are exclusively breastfed and exclusive breastfeeding is on an average for 2.9 months. Use of water and other fluids is one the main reasons for discontinuation of exclusive breastfeeding,” a Unicef statement said.

Also Read: WHO Teams Working To Combat Ebola Outbreak in DRC 

“However, within low-and-middle-income countries, wealth disparities affect how long a mother will continue to breastfeed her child. Babies from the poorest families have rates for breastfeeding at 2 years that are 1.5 times higher than those from the richest families,” it added.

The gaps are widest in West and Central Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, where babies from the poorest families have breastfeeding rates at two years that are nearly double those from wealthier families. (IANS)

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Researchers Have Successfully Created Artificial Placenta

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted.

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Artificial placenta created in lab using 3D printing. Flickr

Using a high-resolution 3D printing process, Austrian researchers have succeeded in creating an artificial placenta barrier on a chip, a development that can be used to investigate important aspects of nutrient transport from the mother to the foetus.

The placenta ensures the exchange of important substances between the mother and her unborn child, whilst simultaneously blocking other substances from passing through.

“The transport of substances through biological membranes plays an important role in various areas of medicine,” said Aleksandr Ovsianikov, professor at the TU Wien university in Vienna.

“These include the blood-brain barrier, ingestion of food in the stomach and intestine, and also the placenta.”

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons
This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons

Studies have shown that diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure in the mother can affect the transport of substances to the foetus. Until now however, it has been almost impossible to investigate the way in which the many parameters involved interact in such cases.

Using the 3D printing made it possible to produce customised hydrogel membranes directly within microfluidic chips, which are then populated with placenta cells.

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place, the researchers said.

The novel chip consists of two areas — one represents the foetus, the other the mother. Using a specially developed femtosecond laser-based 3D printing process helped produce a partition between them — the artificial placenta membrane.

The high-resolution 3D printing involved a hydrogel with good biocompatibility.

Also Read: Obesity During Pregnancy May up Kid’s Risk of Epilepsy

“Based on the model of the natural placenta, we produce a surface with small, curved villi. The placenta cells can then colonise it, creating a barrier very similar to the natural placenta,” Ovsianikov explained.

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted. (IANS)