World Breastfeeding Week
Breastfeeding week is coming to an end, however, let’s take a peep into some
The Breastfeeding week is being celebrated from August 1-7, the slogan captures
the underlying essence and importance, “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life”. Breast
milk contains the right balance of nutrients for an infant to grow as a healthy toddler.
A child remains immune to many illnesses during growing years.
In Indian culture, breastfeeding is almost universal which continues beyond a year of
the infant. Although, beliefs, culture, myth all of these factors cater to an
understanding the importance of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding in India is more of a
traditional practice, yet the numbers are not significant over the decades.
Vedic Literature informs about the importance of breastfeeding in the cultural set up,
similarly Ayurveda insists on breastfeeding for the vitality and longevity of the health
for generations to come. A well breast-fed child is physically, mentally emotionally
well developed and grown. Women (lactating mothers) are often advised, informed
and guided by health care professionals, families, especially the elders like
grandmothers to specially take care of food and emotional health so she can feed
the child with calmness. Hence, the breastfeeding is completely influenced by
cultural and religious ceremonies throughout. Breastfeeding is also seen as weaving
of a bond between a mother and the child, however, there is huge need to educate
and fill the gaps with present difficulties.
We all know, if not partially that working women do face hassles feeding unless she
is given the break from her work to be with the infant. Recommended breastfeed by
WHO is upto the age of 6 months to prevent health issues as well as asthma,
allergy, diarrhoea besides some common illness and infections. Breastfeeding helps
a child for an overall growth and development. Breastfeeding in India is common
unless a mother is ill or have some infectious disease. The reducing cultural practice
of breast feeding is seen over the decades parallelly with working women.
Addressing such gaps of working women and women with serious health concerns,
India came up with its first Human Milk Bank in 2017, it’s just a beginning unless
more heads and hands work together this may seem a distant possibility.
There are cultural practises regarding Breastfeeding present in some other parts of
world as well. It has medical and psychological benefits for both the mother and the
infant. For many mothers and babies, breastfeeding goes smoothly from the start.
For others, it takes a little time and several attempts to get the process going
effectively. Like anything new, breastfeeding takes some practice. This is perfectly
normal. If you need help, ask the doctors and nurses while you are still in the
hospital, your paediatrician, a lactation specialist, or a breastfeeding support group.
Spread awareness around regarding Breastfeeding, clear all the myths and rumours.