Breastfeeding is vital for child

Breastfeeding contributes to 99% immunity build-up in your infant and is the most important aspect in a mother-child bonding


·         World Breastfeeding Week brings the focus on the need to promote breastfeeding practices in India for declining trends

·         Pregnant women must be educated on the benefits of breastfeeding for infants


  Commemorating the World Breastfeeding Week in the first week of the month of August, Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala initiated the campaign to promote breastfeeding in a larger way in young mothers for better health in infants and better immunity in the long run.

Modern day lifestyle and work pressures are time and patience out of young mothers. The need to educate young mothers on how infants need to be breastfed for increased immunity, increased health benefits has become urgent. Breastfeeding a young one also contributes significantly to forging a stronger emotional bond between the mother and the child. Psychologists and pediatricians also reveal that being breastfed over a longer period makes a child emotionally much more secure and physically much stronger as compared to children who are breastfed for a shorter time period.

Recent data on breastfeeding trends in India, especially among working women, paints a sorry picture. Only about eight million of the 26 million babies born every year annually are breastfedwithin an hour of birth, finds a recent report of breastfeeding trends. It ranked India at 31st place out of the 51 countries surveyed. The report reveals that only 46 percent of babies born in India were breastfed in the first 24 hours of birth. Neighbouring countries fared better. The percentage of babies who were breastfed within the first 24 hours in Sri Lanka stood at 75.8 and in Bangladesh stood at 64.

In a city like Delhi, which has higher number of working women than smaller cities, the figures are further worrisome. Only about 28 percent of mothers breastfed their newborns within the first hour of birth and 41 percent of them fed their babies with formula feed instead of with colostrum.

Dr. Neeraj Arora,Consultant Neonatologist Columbia Asia Hospital, Patialasays, “There is an urgent need to sensitise young mothers that breastfeeding is the best choice for babies for optimized immunity as the breast milk contains the best of fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. This will contribute in warding off so many diseases and illnesses if they are adequately breastfed. We strongly recommended that all pregnant ladies be given practical knowledge about breastfeeding”.


On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August),Dr. Neeraj Arora, Consultant Neonatologist Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala strongly recommends mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months, which will, apart from better bonding between mother and baby, result in improving cognitive performance better educational achievements in the child. If breastfeeding is promoted through educational focus, there would be higher survival rates for babies, lower rates of disease and lower rates of malnutrition and stunting.

Annually, about 26 million babies take birth in India. According to National Family Health Survey -3 (NFHS-3) data, 20 million are not able to receive exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and about 13 million do not get good timely and appropriate complementary feeding after six months, along with continued breastfeeding. The India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) developed by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 2014 has been targeting a 90 percent rate of initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth by 2025. To achieve these rates, there is a need for investing in creating an enabling environment for mothers, especially the working mothers to build upon these achievements.

About Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.

Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. is the only company in India to utilize 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) route in the hospital sector.

About Columbia Asia Group of Companies

The Columbia Asia Group is owned by more than 150 private equity companies, fund management organizations and individual investors. The group currently operates eleven facilities in India and has presence in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Kolkata, Mysore, Patiala and Pune. The company also operates hospitals in Malaysia (11), Vietnam (3), and Indonesia (3). The Indian management operations are managed from its office in Bangalore.



Aug 22, 2017
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