Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year across the world from 1 August to 7 August to create mass awareness

<strong>Dr Rani Pathak Das</strong> - Editor-In-Chief, Fit Northeast
Dr Rani Pathak Das - Editor-In-Chief, Fit Northeast
Birth of a new baby calls for an ocean of responsibilities. However, the greatest responsibility comes within the first hour of delivery - to feed the baby with the life saving mother's milk. Mother's milk is the first food for an infant, a food loaded with nutrition, antibodies to ward off infections and long-chain fatty acids that are critical for healthy brain development.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated every year across the world from 1st August to 7th August to create mass awareness, encourage breastfeeding to improve health of babies and to highlight links between breastfeeding and health and wellbeing of women, children and nation.
The theme for this year's WBW is, "Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility". As every nation and state needs to build back after Covid-19 pandemic, the occasion provides a good opportunity to highlight how important it is to create a chain of support that includes the father, family members, care givers and employers at work place (for working mothers) and the community in order to achieve breastfeeding success.
The concept was perceived by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF in the 1990s to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding" and it was officially adopted in 1992 by 70 countries, including India.
In India the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles & Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply & Distribution) Act 1992 came into force in 1993 as a central government law by notification in the official gazette to protect, promote & support breastfeeding. The IMS Act was amended in 2003 enhancing the protection level.
Why the Act? It is stated that promotion of infant milk substitute and related products has been more pervasive and extensive than the dissemination of information concerning the advantages of mother's milk and breastfeeding and contributes to decline in breastfeeding.
This year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has made a Warm Chain campaign to support breastfeeding. It says that breastfeeding must be considered a public health issue that requires investment at all levels. It is time to inform, anchor, engage and galvanise action to protect breastfeeding at all levels.
Well, now let's have a glance of what Fit North East will provide you this week. Our Debate section has resumed with an interesting theme on lockdown and Covid-19. Our focus on Covid situation and related happenings is constant, and news and views in this regard are in the pipeline. We will also have articles on cancer patients who have been affected by Covid, exclusive interview on increased response to drug de-addiction during the lockdown period, feature stories on good life, and much more apart from the regular updates. Wish you all a brilliant week ahead!



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