This marks an increase of around 17 per cent since the last NFHS survey in 2005-06.
The report urges governments, donors and other decision-makers to adopt strong legal measures to restrict the marketing of infant formula and other breastmilk substitutes but emphasise exclusive breastfeeding.
"Although most people are aware that breastfeeding is beneficial for term babies, many don't know that breast milk is even more important for pre-term and low birth weight babies, as it helps save their lives", says Dr Raghuram Mallaiah, Director, Neonatology, Fortis La Femme, and founder of Amaara Human Milk Bank.More news: Meeting in Trump Tower Was to Get Information on Clinton
Experts are citing the importance of breastfeeding within one hour of birth during the World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated from August 1 to 7 every year, to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of the infant's life and then continues with adequate supplemental food until the child reaches two years of age. Babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of their lives have lower risk of respiratory infection, sudden infant death syndrome and fewer bouts of diarrhea.
Breast milk contributes to sensory and cognitive development of the infant and reduces obesity and noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers. Mothers can carry the pump and storage bag to their work place and pump there to keep up their milk supply.More news: Andy Murray pulls out of Citi Open quarter-final
He stated that even in scenarios where breastfeeding was challenged for instance, due to the demise of a mother at birth, effort should be made to seek out an already breastfeeding relative, who could volunteer to feed both her baby and the other baby placed in her care, at the same time through "tandem breastfeeding". Women who find themselves in this situation need support and affirmation as well. These include feeding newborns food or drinks. Exclusive breastfeeding also helps to bring about bonding of baby and mother and helps delay a new pregnancy.
The theme of 2018 Breastfeeding Week, 'Breastfeeding: "Foundation for Life" is very fitting as breastfeeding especially exclusive breastfeeding is a win-win for all - baby, mother, family and society. For example, the office doesn't have a nursing room for when mothers need to pump their breast milk in private.
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