Breastfeeding during the first few hours of life saves millions from death. It is vitally important for the new born babies. Human beings are matured by consuming the milk of their mother and building up their lives.
The birth of a child is an absolute joy in the lives of both family and parents. From the first days of life, questions arise about feeding, physical and mental development, the health and upbringing of the child.
In today’s society, the issue of capacity development of physicians and increasing public awareness of maternal and child health is of a great importance.
According to experts, untimely feeding of infants, restriction of natural nutrition and excessive consumption of artificial foods, especially milk powder, obesity of mothers before and after childbirth, as well as related problems impede the protection of maternal and child health in the country.
Taking into account the importance of this issue, the World Week of Protection of Natural Nutrition for Children is held annually from 1 to 7 August. This event has been conducted in the Republic of Tajikistan since 2001 under the name “Breastfeeding Support Week”. From 1 to 10 August, the campaign was held in the Republic of Tajikistan under the name of the Decade for Breastfeeding Support with the slogan “Expand Parents’ Rights and Opportunities for Breastfeeding”.
In 1995 the former head of the UN Children’s Fund James P. Grant called breastfeeding a “revolution for children,” claiming that the magical formula of breast milk could save millions of lives.
The Ministry of Health, taking into account the importance of this issue, started its work in 1994 in the area of support and assistance in breastfeeding. Since 1998, 10 principles of successful breastfeeding have been introduced in all maternity hospitals of the country.
In 1999, for the first time in the Republic, the city hospital № 1 of Dushanbe (former No. 3) was awarded the World Certificate “Positive Attitude towards Children”. Later, 58 other medical institutions in the country received this certificate. According to experts, one of the ways for parents to improve their skills and knowledge is to hold meetings, receive outreach materials on the importance of breastfeeding, and educate pregnant women and nursing mothers in health facilities. It is to be noted that, breastfeeding support groups make a big contribution nowadays.
Meanwhile, Sanavbar Rahmatulloeva, chief specialist of the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Parenting at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan, says the benefits and convenience of breastfeeding children are higher than in any case. Because the milk of the mother is always ready for consumption, it is not necessary to prepare it in advance: the milk of the mother is acidic and does not spoil, though the mother’s milk for several days and moreover, it is available for free: Breastfeeding is exclusively for the baby: breast milk protects the baby from many diseases, not only during infancy, but throughout life: breastfeeding has a positive effect on maternal health, such as cancer prevention.
Our interlocutor expressed her views on artificial foods to be given to children:
“Of every 100 grams of dry milk presented to children, 34 percent is water and it affects the health of children.” If infants receive artificial nutrients, their risk of infectious diseases, including diarrhea, is 15 times greater than in infants breastfed. In particular, if children are fed artificial nipples or bottles, their risk of disease increases, as it is difficult to keep the nipple and glass clean. Artificial foods do not contain anti-inflammatory foods, so children who get artificial nutrients are often more likely to have diarrhea, which can persist for a long time and make them very thin. The iron contained in artificial nutrients is not fully absorbed in the baby’s body, so children who consume artificial food are prone to anemia, she added.
According to Sanavbar Rahmatullaeva, chief specialist of the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Parenting at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan, high level of sodium, calcium and phosphorus available in artificial milk is not needed by the baby. There are no vitamins or proteins in the artificial diet that can be broken down by milk. Cystic acid and taurine, which are essential for the development of the baby’s brain, are not found in artificial milk. As for the cow milk it does not contain the linoleum needed to settle the fat. In other words, the fat remains in the stomach and baby doesn’t feel hungry. In most cases, artificial milk causes allergic diseases.
According to experts from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan, up to 6 months of age a lot of money is needed to provide the child with various nutrients, as well as access to artificial nutrition. Therefore, feeding a child from birth to 6 months of age requires 60 packs of artificial food, if each pack costs 80 somonis, then in 6 months it will be 4800 somoni. From this analysis it is necessary to conclude that artificial nutrition is not only harmful to the health of the child, but also economically damaging to the family.
The analysis of medical institutions in recent years show that the children consuming artificial nutrition are 10-15 times more likely to have gastrointestinal and acute respiratory diseases.
Children’s health and mortality among children under the age of 1-2 years especially caused by diarrhea (gastrointestinal diseases) and acute respiratory infections. Studies in this area have shown that the aforementioned diseases are most common among premature babies who are fed artificially or in combination. This is due to the presence of newborns in the first 6 months of life as a result of feeding and drinking (glasses, nipples and other infections), as well as the loss of the mother’s breast.
Experts say that only breastfeeding at a given time cannot meet all the requirements for a baby’s development, so that additional nutritional issues may arise. The Ministry of Health and Social Protection recommends that you start taking supplementary foods at the age of 6 months as your child needs to high levels of minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins increases. Furthermore, during the whole period of complementary feeding, the mother’s milk should remain the main type of food for the babies.