By: Lailuma Noori
World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF has stressed on importance of promoting the breastfeeding for the health and feeding of newborn babies and infants. The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to August 7. All countries have been asked to execute practical programs for promotion of breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. The history of this week-long commemoration dates back to the 1990s when the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) created the Innocenti Declaration to promote and support breastfeeding. Later in 1991, to execute UNICEF and WHO’s goals, an association was formed called the World Association of Breastfeeding Action. In 1992, a whole week was dedicated to promote this campaign.
WHO has declared artificial or dry milk as the main competitor to breastmilk, urging its member states to implement more strict policies on the production and importation of artificial milk as the artificial or dry milk is never equal to breastmilk at all, but unfortunately it has replaced breastmilk.
World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration held every year from August 1 to 7 in over 120 countries. World Health Organization states breastfeeding as one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. This year, the theme for breastfeeding week is ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.’ Breastfeeding is also known as nursing. It is the best way to provide young infants with the essential nutrients required for growth and development. World Health Organisation says that breastmilk is the ideal food for infants.
It is safe, clean, and acts as the babies’ first vaccine, protecting them against many common childhood illnesses.
Breastfeeding helps boost the immune system of the infant, lowers the infant mortality rate, lowers the risk of developing infections such as respiratory tract infections, diabetes, allergic diseases, and childhood leukemia. It also helps enhance the cognitive function of the baby.
Additionally, breastmilk is extremely nutritious and healthy for the baby and can help the baby develop a healthy weight.
On the other hand, as a grant of Almighty Allah, breastfeeding is free of charge and mothers are not obliged to pay for that, while a can of artificial or dry milk is expensive enough.
There are some challenges to consider when deciding whether to formula feed. None of the antibodies found in breast milk are in manufactured formula.
So formula can’t provide a baby with the added protection against infection and illness that breast milk does.
The formula feeding can’t match the complexity of breast milk. Manufactured formulas have yet to duplicate the complexity of breast milk, which changes as the baby’s needs change.
Unlike breastmilk which is always available, unlimited, and served at the right temperature formula feeding your baby requires planning and organization to make sure that you have what you need when you need it. Parents must buy formula and make sure it’s always on hand to avoid late-night runs to the store.
And it’s important to always have the necessary supplies like bottles and nipples clean, easily accessible, and ready to go; otherwise, you will have a very hungry, very fussy baby to answer to. With 8-10 feedings in a 24-hour period, parents can quickly get overwhelmed if they’re not prepared and organized.