45 per cent of women in Madhesh Province do not breastfeed

Bardibas, March 22: 45 per cent of women in Madhesh Province do not breastfeed their newborns, while 35 per cent do not exclusively breastfeed. 

According to Branch Chief Binod Yadav of the Madhesh Province Health Directorate, 45 per cent of the mothers in the province do not breastfeed their newborns, while 35 percent of mothers do not exclusively breastfeed. 

He said that the trend of not breastfeeding is caused by many health problems and it is also counterproductive from an economic and social point of view. 

Physicians have made it compulsory to breastfeed a newborn within an hour of birth till six months to build a healthy society. However, mothers of Madhes Province have failed to give high-quality nutritious food for a newborn that is mother’s milk. 

Nutritional officer of UNICEF Sumi Maskey said that the child mortality rate can be reduced by 20 per cent if the mother’s milk is fed even for six months. 

She said, “Mother’s milk is an environmentally friendly, balanced diet and the first vaccine for resistance against disease and said that millions that are wasted in formula milk can be saved by exclusive breastfeeding.”

According to the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (2022 NDHS), the trend of not breastfeeding is observed more among educated than uneducated and in urban mothers than mother residing in rural places. 

She said that reasons such as ignorance, tedious life, and work are there, but there is also a confused belief about formula feed being more nutritious which immediate problem.

Citing a report, Chief Vinod Yadav said that 12 per cent of the children of the province are bottle-fed. The trend of feeding formula instead of mother’s milk has been seen as a challenge in the midst of being lured by the attractive advertisement of bottled milk. 

The Madhesh Province has conducted an aggressive campaign in the areas where breastfeeding is lowest. 

He said, “The Madhesh Province has initiated many effective implementation and awareness campaigns with a belief to reach the target by 2030.” 

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