830,000 babies worldwide could be saved every hour if mothers started breastfeeding newborns within the first hour of birth!
A new report captioned ‘Superfood for Babies’ was released a few days ago by an NGO, Save the Children. It highlights analysis of the health benefits and cost savings of early breastfeeding as well as barriers to breastfeeding in developing countries. 830,000 babies worldwide could be saved every hour if mothers started breastfeeding newborns within the first hour of birth.
The above video feature is by British Natasha Kaplinsky, a renowned newsreader and TV presenter. She is a Save the Children Ambassador to help vividly bring the everyday realities of health ignorance, effects of inaccurate health information, and barriers to healthy choices on #Breastfeeding to light. Stories like this seem distant when verbalized but their burning memories live on when pictured in its simplicity with audiovisuals like this.
Exclusive breastfeeding for the entire 6 months actually reduces the risk of death from diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea by as much as 15 times –New Report
Exclusive Breastfeeding as the natural (life-saver) magical gift
The conversation on breast feeding itself is not new being a natural phenomenon, but its key interest for the health sector globally lies in the specific emphasis on Exclusive Breastfeeding (especially because it is FREE & EFFECTIVE). Exclusive breastfeeding is the choice of feeding babies with only breast milk (no water) for first 6 months of life before the introduction of other foods. The benefits of breast feeding abound but it undoubtedly requires dedication. Breast feeding increases the natural mother and child bonding. According to this new report, going on exclusive breastfeeding for the entire 6 months actually reduces the risk of death from diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea by as much as 15 times.
A deliberate focus on this issue of exclusive breast feeding is paramount in poorer parts of the world because of their attendant beliefs in traditional practices handed down over the generations- a lot of which are harmful. Clearly healthcare workers are typically short-staffed or completely absent in these areas so there is really no available source of basic information to start with. However, narrowing this issue down to only the barely accessible interior villages probably in abject poverty is being blind-sided because, even in the more urban areas like cities and their suburbs, lots of women (across all socioeconomic classes) also fail to practice exclusive breastfeeding. Reason? How about these top 3 reasons:
- Some women would rather heed their mother’s (or mother-in-law’s) experienced advice to use a few herbs as additives contrary to any new info from their nurse/midwife
- Some others just can’t be convinced otherwise because they’re of the opinion that breast milk alone is not enough to sustain/satisfy the baby
- And yet, another set of women simply don’t understand the fuss about “exclusive” when their neighbour’s babies did just fine otherwise
At this point, the need to return to the office for the working mothers should probably get the Number 4 spot. And yes, this presents a genuine challenge especially when the issue is not considered to be topical enough to warrant legislation on. But the bigger truth is this: any working class woman who gets past all 3 ‘reasons’ above and realizes the importance of exclusive breast feeding will most likely succeed at surmounting possible challenges.
So the end, it still boils down to the absolute need for well rounded health education for the everyday person to enable them know enough to (seek out and) make healthier choices. And someday (hopefully soon), we could even consider go into more conversations about creating an enabling environment