Breastfeeding is a natural process of nursing the baby. The baby should be breastfed in the first hour after birth which is also known as the ‘golden hour’.
As per a report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 7.8 crores or two in five newborns are not breastfed within their first hour, globally. India ranked 56th among the 76 countries on early initiation of breastfeeding. This trend was prevalent in low-and-middle-income countries of East Asia and the Pacific. Every year annually 1-7 August is celebrated as breast feeding week to spread awareness. Catch up with some more facts.
Composition of Breast Milk in Normal Weight Mothers Differs from that of Overweight Mothers.
In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the University of Minnesota, the researchers analyzed breast milk content and infant body measures (fat and muscle) at both one month and six months of age in 35 mother-infant pairs. Mothers were classified by pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) less than 25 (normal) or greater than 25 (overweight/obese). Only a modest difference was found in the milk composition between obese and lean mothers (10 at one month and 20 at six months, out of 275). The study concluded Maternal obesity is associated with changes in the human milk metabolome. For more click here
Breastfeeding Protects Infants from Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria
from the University of Helsinki showed that babies breastfed for at least six months have less antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their gut compared with infants breastfed for a shorter period. Moreover, the study showed that antibiotics used by mothers increased the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in infants. There is no doubt that breastfeeding reduced the number of resistant bacteria in the infant gut — an indication of the benefits of breastfeeding for infants.
Breast Feeding can be a Matter of Life or Death
In the report, Capture the Moment , UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) note that while newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive, they estimate that 78 million newborns are excluded. Earlier studies, cited in the report, show that newborns who began breastfeeding between two and 23 hours after birth, had a 33 per cent greater risk of dying, compared to those who breastfed within one hour.
Breastfeeding should not be ignored.