Odisha based Biju Patnaik Tribal Agro-biodiversity Centre of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, has observed the World Breastfeeding Week at its action villages under the project “Strengthening Livelihoods and Enhancing Food and Nutrition Security of Small and Marginal Farmers in Koraput District of Odisha through a Farming System Model” supported by Government of Odisha under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) with the active involvement of pregnant, lactating mothers and adolescent girls.
The world celebrates World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to August 7 every year to spread awareness about its importance and need for both mother and baby’s health. World Health Organization (WHO) recognises breast milk as the best nutritional source for an infant. The Centre organised awareness programmes in five village cluster levels in Doraguda and Mathapada Gram Panchayat of Boipariguda block. In these programmes, around 200 women participated where the majority were either pregnant or lactating or adolescent girls.
The participants were engaged in interactive discussions and provided a leaflet which contained pictorial information related to importance of breastfeeding. The participants were learned how exclusive breastfeeding plays a crucial role in the optimal growth of children in the first six months of a child. They were advised on the importance of Colostrum milk to the baby in the first hour of birth, which helps the baby keep away from infectious diseases. Colostrum is rich in immunoglobulins and lactoferrin, growth, and antimicrobial factors, all of which promote tissue growth and maturation of digestive tract and immune function in neonatal humans.
Participants were educated on number of aspects about breast feeding. A calm and quiet atmosphere favours maximal secretion of milk.
Breast milk is sufficient to meet the nutritional requirement of children. Also, it is digestible nutrients for children. There is a higher energy requirement at the first year of a child which forms the foundation of future health. The baby should be fed as per their demand as the baby is entirely dependent upon mothers for its nourishment. The lactating and pregnant women were recommended to have a balanced diet to mitigate the nutritional requirement of both babies and mothers.