Breastfeeding Mothers Need Better Support: Dr Sujata Sanjay
Breast milk- “natural, nutritional, naturally sterile and cheap” : Dr Sujata Sanjay
An orientation program is organized at Basic primary school, Rajpur, Dehradun, Uttarakhand ,India to create awareness regarding breast-feeding under the auspices of Lions Club Greater Dehradun. More than 25 pregnant and lactating mothers participated in the program.
The first hour of a baby’s life is often the most magical; but it is also the most fragile. It is when the baby is at greatest risk of developing complications and breathing difficulties. And, it’s also when they’re in danger of not getting what they need the most: the first breast milk. In India, only 45% mothers initiate early breastfeeding. The delay in breastfeeding initiation reduces the baby's access to the mother's nutritious and immune system-boosting first milk known as colostrum and significantly increases the neonate's death risk.“Every child deserves a healthy start. There is no better way than a mother’s milk,” added Dr Sujata Sanjay.
“Moving away from breast feeding is at present common in women belonging to all classes of society, being the upper or the lower class. It is not because they are not aware of the benefits of breastfeeding but various kinds of pressures mainly professional ones make them to stop it at a time when it is not supposed to be. Apart this, a practice has been noticed that doctors easily suggest formula feeding when the mother cites difficulties in breastfeeding. That also has to be discouraged,” said Dr. Sujata Sanjay, Consultant in Gynecology and Obstetrics of Sanjay Maternity Centre, Dehradun.
She adds, that breast milk is the greatest gift a mother can gift her baby. Start by having a positive mindset: "I see a lot of women having apprehensions about whether or not they will be able to produce milk. Nature has programmed our female bodies in a way that the process of breast milk production automatically starts in the body after the baby is born. You should just believe in your body and be confident that you will be able to give this beautiful gift to your little one."
Breast milk, which was “natural, nutritional, naturally sterile and cheap”, would not only protect the infant's health, but also the health of the mother, she said.
“Stopping of breast feeding in the early months is a matter of concern. Women need more and more support. The institutions they work should either have creche attached to them or should give break in duty time to breast feed kids,” says Dr Sujata Sanjay.
Dr. Sujata Sanjay, stressed the need to create awareness about the issue among young mothers, especially in rural areas and among the poorer sections of society. “I personally feel that better support from fathers and the society in general, the organizations which the women are working as they all have a major role to play. Fathers can create a positive environment for breastfeeding in motivating and supporting the mother. Grandmothers play an equally important role and are an important source of support for new mothers. Their parenting experience can influence the mother's decision to not only initiate, but continue breastfeeding. Her assistance in taking care of the baby and domestic responsibilities can make a big difference to the mother, especially in the early months” he added.