Breastfeeding essential for infant health

Breastfeeding essential for infant health
4 min read

Breastfeeding essential for infant health

The head of a Turkish nongovernmental organization emphasized that exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months and providing appropriate nutrients until the age of 2 helps protect them from diseases like diabetes, cancer, asthma, and obesity.

Melek Kılıç, head of the Association of TEMAS Breastfeeding and Breast Milk Volunteers, who spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the occasion of the National Breastfeeding Week on Oct. 1-7, said that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition that provides ideal growth and development for a baby.

"Scientific studies have shown that diarrhea, pneumonia, otitis media, allergic diseases, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, hypertension, cancer, allergies, asthma, obesity, dental structure disorders, and some mental illnesses are less common in breast-fed babies," she stressed.

Kılıç also said school achievements of children fed with breast milk are higher.

She, however, lamented: "Despite its miraculous content and contributions to health, 77 million newborn babies in the world cannot get breast milk within the first hour."

She warned that this situation "deprives babies of essential nutrients, antibodies, and close contact with the mother that will protect them from the risk of disease and death."

Possible risks
She further underlined the risks of delaying breast milk as it can, unfortunately, increase the risk of death among newborn babies.

According to UNICEF data, babies who have never been breastfed have a seven times greater risk of dying because of any infection than babies who have been breastfed at least for some time in the first six months after birth.

Also, in infants who are never been breastfed, the mortality risk is 14 times higher than in infants who are exclusively breastfed.

Childhood deaths can be reduced by 13% with exclusive breastfeeding and by about 20% with the right complementary feeding practices, according to UNICEF data.

According to the World Health Organization, nutritional deficiencies, which alone are responsible for 7% of child deaths under the age of 5, are the main underlying cause of about half of deaths.

The WHO said that over 800,000 lives would be saved every single year if the rates of breastfeeding women were high.

Kılıç stressed that the first step that should be taken to ensure ideal growth and development for babies and to prevent nutritional deficiencies is to start mother-baby skin contact immediately after birth.

"It is recommended that babies be breastfed for the first six months exclusively, and after the sixth month with appropriate complementary nutrients until the age of 2."

Leader women project
Kılıç said the TEMAS Association, under the Leading Women Project, has been working to increase public awareness across Türkiye, starting work primarily in the earthquake zone.

She said they started an important project for mothers in the earthquake region in southern Türkiye.

"Based in Hatay, Gaziantep, and Adiyaman, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in the earthquake zone are provided counseling, and solutions are sought for the problems in the field.

"We continue to provide support with 160 experts on free breastfeeding counseling, child health, and maternal health for all mothers, especially our mothers in areas of disaster or under any circumstances and conditions.

"Social media accounts, mother support application, and our online panel for mother support are actively working and thousands of mothers and babies are being served."

sarah viloid 2
Joined: 3 weeks ago
In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up