With the goal to promote exclusive breastfeeding, for the first six months of life which yields tremendous health benefits, the World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated by more than 120 countries over the world from 1st to 7th August 2016.
Breast milk is best for the babies, and the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect a baby from illness.
A study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences showed that children who are breastfed have a 20 percent lower risk of dying between the ages of 28 days and 1 year than children who weren’t breastfed, with longer breastfeeding associated with lower risk.
The first milk of the mother contains colostrums that is rich in Immunoglobulin A (IgA) (An antibody that guards against invading germs by forming a protective layer on the mucous membranes in baby’s intestines, nose, and throat), which gives baby’s immune system a boost.
In tribal region of Banswara, the tradition and culture restricts the feeding of first milk of mother, which is of the utmost importance, to the new born, believing that the milk is thick and will create indigestion to the child. Instead of mother’s milk the tradition allows to give Honey or Ghutti to the infant.
Inevitably, the mothers in tribal region go on labor work, leaving their small kids at home, within 1-2 months of delivery. This reduces the breastfeeding of the children and pushing them at a risk of becoming ill or malnourished. Breaking the cycle of exclusive breastfeeding for six months these children have been provided the supplements for the mother’s milk.
In addition to it, the low nutrition level of mothers is also responsible for declining graph of exclusive breastfeed to the children for six months. Due to improper diet and low nutritional status many of the mothers in tribal region are incapable of producing sufficient/ no amount of milk.
VAAGDHARA has always believed in power of the community and has spread its efforts in building knowledge of the people in community assuming Community based Organizations at grassroots level as a medium of bringing change.
In Sajjangarh and Kushalgarh blocks of Banswara, along with the 270 SHGs in 270 villages the organization is serving towards improving the health and nutrition level of children and families by introducing knowledge on nutritional importance of various food produces and majorly promoting breastfeeding practices. This not only benefits the baby but the mothers also. They have been trained on cultivation of nutritious crops and kitchen garden concepts. An addition to it they have been provided with 5 fruit plants which contribute towards the increased nutrition in family.
The main focus is provided on breastfeeding the infants within the first hour of birth along with exclusive breastfeeding for six months.
Through regress awareness generation during meetings and trainings, the women in this region have made aware on the importance of mother’s milk to child. The initiative promoted not only the institutional deliveries but also the breastfeeding practices within one hour of birth breaking the traditional trends of giving Ghutti.
In order to promote exclusive breastfeed, the SHG members are focusing on developing some sort of shelters for children at labor site too so as the process will not get hamper and child can be given a healthy life.
In this week of Breastfeed, the Women in the Sajjangarh and Kushalgarh are celebrating the cause through imparting trainings and spreading awareness among women in the community on the importance of breastfeed and the ways of breastfeed. This mission is given a boost by linking each and every lactating mother or pregnant women with Aanganwadi services.
Let’s make our children to grow happy and healthy!!