Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development

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Every year, the first week of August is celebrated as the World Breastfeeding week. The main idea behind this movement and campaign is to provide encouragement to all those mothers who breastfeed their child. This year’s breastfeeding week comes with the motto and line: Breastfeeding: a key to sustainable development. There is no denying the fact that breast milk is extremely important and necessary for new born babies and is a key to proper growth and development. This year, the campaign once again wants to create awareness on this fact and spread the idea.

Mother’s milk is often compared to earth’s nourishing features and elements. Just like mother earth’s elements are helpful in providing nourishment to plants; the milk of a mother provides much needed elements and benefits for a baby, especially in the first 6 months of birth. Not only does it reduces the risk of several diseases in early childhood years but also contains several amino acids important for growth and development. These amino acids help in providing immunity to babies which is what makes breast milk so crucial.

It won’t be wrong to say that breast milk is the best gift a mother can give to her child. Breastmilk prevents certain types of allergies in later years of life and also avoids sicknesses and even obesity. Some research also suggests that the milk of a mother also reduces risk of suffering from various serious health conditions and diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Babies who are given breastmilk from early on are at a lesser risk of suffering from certain infections too including ear infections. It is easily digestible and does not upset the stomach of a baby like other forms of milk do.

Besides providing benefits to babies, breastmilk also provides certain types of benefits to mothers. For example, mother who breastfeed have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer such as breast cancer. Moreover they return to their normal body weight sooner as compared to those who do not breastfeed. Breastfeeding mothers develop a deeper bond with their babies and babies too feel a higher sense of security.

Even inspite of these tremendous benefits, a lot of mothers around the world do not breastfeed their babies and there can be many reasons behind the same. Some reasons include lack of awareness, ignorance, and poor self confidence as well as lack of needed support. All doctors, nurses and mid-wives etc. must communicate the importance of breastfeeding to new mothers and make sure they feed their child or baby their own milk. A lot of women are unable to breastfeed their babies since they have to go out to work. In such a situation, the milk can be stored at room temperate for about 6-8 hours and then in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

So let us pledge to follow this practice for the betterment of our babies and spread the message among others around us as well.