"Early initiation of breastfeeding" report by WHO

"Early initiation of breastfeeding" report

"Sri lanka" has secured first position in a report titled "Early initiation of breastfeeding", released by UNICEFand the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Among a total of the 76 countries analysed, India has secured 56th position, the report released on "International Breastfeeding Day-2018", indicates that only two in five newborns are breastfed within the first hour of life across the world.

According to the report, breastfeeding to newborn in very first hour of their birth gives the child best chance to survive, grow and develop to their full potential.

The report ranks Kazakhsthan, Rwanda, Bhutan and Uruguay much above than India, making it into the top 10, while countries like Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Montenegro are at the bottom.

Importance of Early breastfeeding

The report emphasise that the the focus should be on mother-in-law, the husband and the service providers to ensure that early initiation does take place.

Missed opportunities of early initiation of breastfeeding is India is attributed to a low awareness among healthcare staff, despite nearly 80 per cent births are institutional deliveries in India.

Breastfeeding in the first hour of life is considered as baby's first vaccine and is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies. Continuous and exclusive breastfeeding thereafter is also important.

Those who began breast feeding between 2 and 23 hours after birth had a 33% greater risk of neonatal death compared with those who began breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

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