05/08/2016 11h37 - Updated 5/08/2016 11h37

Half of the newborns are not breastfed in the first hour of life, says UNICEF

Thus they fail to receive nutrients and antibodies and are deprived of physical contact with their mothers.
Photo: reproduction
Photo: reproduction

Approximately 77 million newborns are not breastfed in the first hour of life, failing to receive nutrients and antibodies and being deprived of physical contact with their mothers, according to the UN Children's Fund (Unicef). This first contact melee is essential to protect them from diseases and to contribute to the success of breastfeeding.

France Bégin, Senior Advisor UNICEF Nutrition, states that if all babies were fed only breast milk from the moment of his birth until six months of age, but of 800 thousand lives would be saved each year.

The more you delay the initiation of breastfeeding, the greater the risk of death within the first month of life. Delaying breastfeeding between two and 23 hours after birth increases 40% the risk of death in the first 28 days of life. Delayed-la by 24 hours or more increases this risk 80%.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that breastfeeding still start in the first half hour after birth. However, only half of all newborns in the world reaps the benefits of immediate breastfeeding.

According to the breastfeeding manual Portuguese Committee for UNICEF, breast milk prevents gastrointestinal infections, respiratory and urinary, besides having protective effect on allergies. As regards the benefits to the mother, breastfeeding helps the uterus return to its normal size and reduces breast cancer odds.

The WHO recommendation is that breastfeeding is exclusive to the sixth month and extends to the 2 years or more, there already with the introduction of food, I eat fruits, legumes, vegetables and meats.

According to UNICEF, despite efforts, advances in breastfeeding in the first hour of life has been slow. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, where under-five mortality rates five years are the highest in the world, early breastfeeding increased only 10 percentage points since the year 2000. In South Asia, where early initiation of breastfeeding rates tripled, passing 16% in 2000 for 45% in 2015, the increase is far from sufficient: 21 million newborns still have to wait too long to be suckled.

UNICEF analysis shows that women are not getting the help they need to initiate breastfeeding immediately after birth, even when a physician, nurse or midwife attending childbirth. In the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, for example, women who have child with the help of a skilled birth attendant are less likely to initiate breastfeeding in the first hour after birth compared to those who give birth with the help of unskilled or family midwives.

Another reason that hinders early breastfeeding is the habit of feeding babies with other liquids or foods. In many countries, It is used to feed the baby with infant formula, cow's milk or sugar water in the first three days of life. Almost half of all newborns are fed with these liquids. When babies receive less nutritious alternatives to breast milk, they suckle less often, making it more difficult for mothers to start and continue breastfeeding.

No world all, only 43% Babies under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Babies who are not breastfed have 14 times more likely to die than those who are fed only breast milk, according to UNICEF. However, any amount of breast milk lowers the risk of death. Babies who receive no breast milk are seven times more likely to die of infection than those who received at least some amount of breast milk in the first six months of life.

World Breastfeeding Week

The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated this year between 1 and 7 of August. The date is celebrated since 1992 on the initiative of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (He became, the acronym), advisory body of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef). With the theme "Breastfeeding: a key to sustainable development "and the slogan" Breastfeeding: It is good for your child, for you and the planet ", allusive official ceremony the week will be held tomorrow (6), 11am, House in Brazil the Olympics, at Pier Maua, in Rio de Janeiro.

Source: Agency Brazil

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