„Breastfeed and work: Now it is possible!” In the week of 1-7 august Moldova celebrates the Global Breastfeeding Week
1 August 2015
The 2015 slogan of the event suggests the support for women who want to breastfeed and while working.
Breastfeeding is the best way to offer the newborn adequate nutrition for health band development. WHO and UNICEF recommend that children are exclusively breastfed during the first 6 months of life and continuously breastfed, with gradual introduction of complementary feeding up to 2 years of age.
In Moldova only 36% of children are exclusively breastfed during the first 6 months of life. 97% of children born in the 2 years preceding MICS 2012 were ever breasfed; 61% were breastfed during the first hour after birth, and 87% - in the first 24 hours after birth. At the same time, 48% were continuously breastfed up to the age of 12 months, and only 12% - up to the age of 2 years.
Globally, 45% of infant deaths are associated with subnutrition, including the insufficient breastfeeding. If all infants aged 0-23 months would have been breastfed, more than 800,000 lives would have been saved globally each year.
In Moldova (according to MICS) 6% of children under 5 are stunted, and 2% are underweight. At the same time, 5% of children under 5 are overweight.
”Republic of Moldova’s objective is to reach, by 2020, an exclusive breastfeeding rate of 70%”, said Ruxanda Glavan, the Minister of Health. ”The legislation of Moldova protects pregnant women and women with children offering part time working hours and breastfeeding breaks”, said Ruxanda Glavan.
”WHO and member states have approved global objectives to improve maternal nutrition and the nutrition of babies and infants, including the improvement of exclusive breastfeeding rates in the first 6 months of life up to 50%, said Jarno Habicht, WHO representative in Moldova. ”WHO recommends that states limit the marketing of breast milk substitutes, said Jarno Habicht.
"The lack of understanding of huge benefits of breastfeeding for the child’s health, growth, and development compared with formula feeeding is one of the main causes of mothers giving up breastfeeding", said Nune Mangasaryan, UNICEF reprezentative in Moldova. "The marketing of breastmilk substitutes often misleads mothers, who believe that breatmilk substututes are of similar value as breastmilk”, said Nune Mangasaryan.
Exclusive breastfeeding is fundamental for the survival and development of a child. Breastmilk includes all the nutrients for a healthy development, it is safe and it has the antibodies that protects the child from many infections, including diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, the two main causes of infant mortality worldwide
Adults that were breastfed are less prone to become overweight, to develop type 2 diabetis and have better performances at school tests. Breastfeeding is also beneficial for the mother. It reduces the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, it prevents postpartum depression, helps the healing of uterus, is a natural contraception and helps the mother to lose weight after birth.
The Global Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually in more than 175 countries. The activities related to GBW are coordinated by the Global Breastfeeding Alliance – a global network aiming at protection and support of breastfeeding. In Moldova, GBW is organized by the Ministry of Health and National Centre for Public Health in partnership with UNICEF and WHO.
Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as the practice of feeding the infant with breast milk only (with no other foods or water).
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