How Paediatricians can Promote, Protect and Support Breastfeeding

How Paediatricians can Promote, Protect and Support Breastfeeding

The last five Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) data8-12 from 1993 to 2007 show that there has not been significant change in exclusive breastfeeding rates nationally and this is reflected in almost static nutritional status and neonatal mortality rates. This is not, however, true of the 109 National Nutrition Programme (NNP) upazilas where, by an intervention of nutrition promotion through the Community Nutrition Promoters (affectionately called Pushti Apas), the neonatal mortality fell to 13 per 1,000 live births13 in 2007-08 compared to a national figure of 37 in 2007.12 At the same time infant mortality fell to 22 compared to a national figure of 57. There are now two main reasons for poor breastfeeding rates in this country: a lack of support for mothers to initiate and sustain breastfeeding and secondly the erosion in breastfeeding practices by the violations of the national and international codes for the marketing of breastmilk substitutes by the milk companies.

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