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Today, August 1, is the first day of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW).
International Environment Rahman Mahfuz

World Breastfeeding Week: Importance of Breastfeeding and Benefits of Mothers and children

World Breastfeeding Week: Importance of Breastfeeding and Benefits of Mothers and children

Rahman Mahfuz, An Environmentalist, Environmental and Financial Topic writer, Engineer, and a social worker and Organizer

Today, August 1, is the first day of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). Every year, World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated on 1-7 August.

It is celebrated from 1990 in honor of the Innocenti Research Center’s announcement in Florence, Italy. World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is a global campaign to raise and encourage awareness about Breastfeeding. The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet.”

Since 1992, The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) has been celebrated with “Women and Work” on various issues, including women’s healthcare. Along with this, with the support of International Marketing Agencies and Communities of baby food for breastfeeding alternatives – it is celebrated every year, creating a theme based on ecology, economics, science, education, and human rights issues.

The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) was celebrated in 2016 in collaboration with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2016 World Health Assembly Resolution endorsed World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) as an essential strategy to Promote Breastfeeding.

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) – 2020 campaign:

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) – 2020 focuses on the impact of breastfeeding on the environment and climate change. It also supports the protection and strengthens humanity by breastfeeding babies for the health of the planet and its people.

The theme combines thematic area 3(Air Pollution, Solid Waste, Liquid Waste, and Local Environmental Pollution) to highlight the link between breastfeeding and environment/climate change in the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) – SDG 2030 campaign.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) provides an excellent way to work together on global climate and environmental development sectors and ecological issues. At the same time, there is a need to emphasize the connection between Breastfeeding and the environment.

Breastfeeding rate in Bangladesh and the world:

According to “Save the Children,” 3.5 million children are born in Bangladesh every year.
At present, only 65% of mothers are breastfeeding their babies until they are six months old.
In 2011 the rate was 64%.
In 2015, it dropped by 17% to 47%.

After granting six months of maternity leave by the Bangladesh government, this rate increased to 65% in 2019. But this rate is currently 41% in the world.

The benefits of Breastfeeding:

A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health in the United States found that mothers who did not breastfeed their babies after birth had a higher risk of developing breast cancer, cervical cancer, obesity, and diabetes.

The study found that 22,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Bangladesh every year, and 80% die without treatment.

An international study found that 11,958 women in Bangladesh were diagnosed with uterine cancer each year.

There are some crucial issues about Breastfeeding– which mothers need to know. Those are given below:-

  1. Mother’s breast milk has a unique smell, which intensifies the mother’s relationship with the child right after birth. Children can distinguish this smell from everything else. In this way, the relationship between the mother and the child remains intact throughout life.
  2. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)may be a problem. Breastfeeding reduces that risk.
  3. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer, and uterine cancer of mothers.
  4. It plays a significant role in the regularization of menstruation after Mother’s pregnancy.
  5. When a mother Breastfeeding her child, burns as calories as equivalent to walking for about seven miles. As a result, the risk of mothers getting fat is eliminated by Breastfeeding.
  6. Breast milk is produced according to the child’s demand; it has nothing to do with the size of the breast. The size returns to normal after the baby’s Breastfeeding completed.
  7. Milk production is more in the breast of the mother from which the baby is breastfed more.
  8. The density of breast milk in the mother depends on the physical needs of the child.
  9. The nipple may have 4 to 20 holes.
  10. The nutritional value of breast milk may change according to the age of the child.
  11. The taste, smell, and nutrition of breast milk depend on the nutrition of the mother’s food. Therefore, increasing the nutrition of a child needs to increase the mother diet nutritional value of the food.
  12. Breast milk can be of different colors such as white, light black, yellow, and blue. The milk that comes to the mother’s breast right after childbirth is slightly yellow and turns blue several days after birth. So, there is no reason for the mother to be frightened by the color.

Goals of the World Health Organization and Initiatives of Bangladesh:

The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to ensure that at least 90% of mothers breastfeed their newborns.

The rate of breastfeeding in newborns right after birth in Bangladesh is 69%, and the rate of breastfeeding up to 6 months after delivery is 65%, well above the world average of 41%. This rate is gradually increasing due to the initiative by the Government of Bangladesh, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and various NGOs.

The Government of Bangladesh has directed to set up “Child Care Centers” in various offices and courts. As per section 46-50 of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 also mentions the daycare of mothers and children.

In that section, working mothers have been given maternity leave for six months. Since 2012, mothers working in the private sector have also been covered under this law.

According to Section 96 (6) of the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006, “Children’s daycare rooms shall be adequately furnished and well equipped with suitable equipment, such as a bed or a cradle with minimum necessary bedding for each mother and her child.” Every mother should have at least one chair or seating arrangement to breastfeed her child while sitting, and there will be enough suitable toys for older children.”

On February 16, 2020, the Hon’ble High Court of Bangladesh directed the Ministry of Labor to set up “Breastfeeding Corners” in all the country’s factories within the next 60 days as per Section 96 (8) of the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006.

Sourc: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangtha, Wikipedia, UNICEF, ieBangla.

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