Bengaluru: In a worrying trend in the country, only a small proportion of infants are being breastfed exclusively for the first 4-6 months, though doctors recommend continuous breastfeeding for at least six months.
They advise that breastfeeding should begin within the first hour of a baby's life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants.
According to a recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS), released in Karnataka, around 56.3% of children under three years of age were breastfed within one hour of birth in 2015-16 as compared to 35.6% in 2005-06. 54.2% of children under the age of six months were breastfed in 2015-16, which was little less than 58.6% in 2005-06.
Women nowadays are not properly informed about producing milk and they go in search of powdered or formula milk which is far less nutritional than breast milk. Lack of experience and lack of guidance from experienced ancestors are the reasons for women producing less milk. Instead of depending on age-old knowledge, women are trying to Google to find solutions, which are not accurate most of the time and could affect the health of the child and the mother.
Dr Aparna Jha, a Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at Apollo Cradle, Brookefield, said, “The young urban mothers have a notion that formula milk is better than their own milk, because they are taken in by advertisement of these formula milk companies.
This is one of the reasons why breastfeeding is going down nowadays. In our clinical scenario, 50-60% of women breastfeed their babies till five months, while the rest stop it in one or two months.”...