I want to expose the many miss-conceptions found in Indian mothers, women etc., about breast-feeding, through the columns of your esteemed National Daily.
It is really sad to note that many women and mothers think that their figures and beauty would be spoiled if they breast-fed their new-burns and babies. Consequently, there is a very low percentage of mothers who breast-feed their babies up to the age of two to three months.-It is merely 20 percent. And the percentage of mothers who suckled their babies up to the age of six months is still lower. It is hardly 9 to 10 percent.
The infant mortality rate can be appreciably brought down if the babies are breast-fed up to the age of one year or more. Breast-feeding is a double blessing. On the one hand it protects the infants from attacks of diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis, anemia etc., and on the other, it eliminates the chances of a mother being affected by breast or ovarian cancer later in life. Experts on the subject are of the opinion that “if a baby remained close to the mother and suckled her, the skin-to-skin contact developed a bond between the two, which went a long way in the child’s development”.
Modern researches have proved beyond any shadow of doubt that breast-feeding is the best and most natural protection against infections.
Mothers often think breast-feeding as a botheration because of their false assumptions and wrong-founded notions. The healthcare and baby-food producing companies are also to blame to some extent for this sorry state of affairs. To promote their infant food and other related products, they have been advertising through various media, highlighting the importance of bottle feeding only.
It is imperative that various agencies, institutions, and government departments related with mother and child- welfare and social health, rise to the occasion and educate the women about various positive advantages of breastfeeding. They should bring home the truth among Indian women that there is no substitute to breast-feeding. Mothers should be told through the mass media that breastfeeding provides the maximum nutrients to the infants, while affording full protection against all types of infections.