World Breastfeeding Week is observed every year between August 1 – 7, by several nations across the globe. This health event aims at raising awareness on the importance of mother’s milk, safe breastfeeding practices, for the wellbeing of both, the mom and the baby. Also Read: Breastfeeding Techniques For The New Age Moms
The universal initiative was introduced in the year 1992, by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a premier institution that works to erase any hindrances that women face with breastfeeding, to ensure optimal nutrition for the infant.
Since then, World Breastfeeding Week has been coordinated, with efforts from the WABA, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Official Breastfeeding Guidelines By Medical Professionals:
Breastfeeding is an organic procedure wherein the mother nurses her child with love and care. Promptly after delivery, the infant ought to be breastfed mother’s foremost milk or “colostrum” within the first one hour, termed as the “golden hour”. This acts as the initial shielding vaccine for the child, assuring abundant protection, energy supply for its sustenance and development.
Healthcare experts at the WHO strongly advocate that mothers should feed their young ones breast milk for the first six months of life.
This must be followed by supplemented breast milk, nourishing weaning foods, such as mushy ragi porridge, tenderly cooked apples, or soft mashed potatoes, until the baby turns 1, continuing to provide a similar diet up to 2 years of age. Also Read: Ragi: Nutrition, Health Benefits, Uses For Skin And Hair, Side Effects
Immense Advantages Of Breastfeeding For Mother And Child:
The chief reason why breastfeeding is advised by paediatricians worldwide is that it confers a plethora of incentives for the uplifted wellbeing of the mom as well as the baby.
These comprise elevated cognitive activity in infants, besides their proper brain development, bolstered immunity against diseases, rapid recovery from common conditions like diarrhoea, pneumonia and normal sensory functions.
In addition, breast milk is a vastly salubrious food, that establishes a deep emotional bond between the mother and child.
World Breastfeeding Week 2020 Theme:
The central theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support Breastfeeding For A Healthier Planet.” This campaign works with the primary objective of emphasizing complete nutritional food requirements for all growing children right from birth, to foster fit adults, for a future with a healthy population and sustainable development of planet earth.
In this regard, fulfilling the fundamental nutritive necessities of infants, with mother’s milk, since the time they are born, is critical. For which, the mother should maintain a fit body and a sound mind, not only during pregnancy but also postpartum, to promote lactating capacities.
And the physical fitness of new-age mothers is all the more vital now, in challenging times of stringent lockdowns and social distancing measures, to prevent COVID-19 viral infection, a contagious respiratory ailment.
Indeed, the process of lactation occurs inherently in a mother’s body after giving birth to the child. Nature has its way of regulating female hormones ensuing delivery, to increase breast size, stimulate mammary glands and secrete milk with myriad beneficial components, for nurturing the baby. And adhering to a wholesome diet further improves the lactating capabilities of the mother.
However, pregnancy and childbirth also result in prominent weight gain, excessive fatigue, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and lowered stamina in mothers, which could hamper lactation.
And diving into advanced high-intensity training soon after delivery must be avoided at all costs. According to qualified physicians, depending on whether the woman has had a normal delivery, C-section or some added complications, it is essential to get ample rest for a few weeks or even months, to allow the body to heal entirely.
Simple And Effective Workouts For Moms To Augment Lactation:
Yet, there is no need to worry. Here are some basic exercises that can be easily done at home by mothers, amidst all the stay at home restrictions. They contribute to improved lactation, amplifying physical strength, endurance and making way for an effortless transition to motherhood.
Remember to always consult with your doctor post-childbirth, before you embark on any physical activity or routine.
Also, bear in mind to breastfeed or use a breast pump prior to starting an exercise regime, as enlarged breasts tend to cause much discomfort during movement.
Take a walk soon after waking up, for at least 10 minutes, within the confines of your home, verandah or open spaces like the terrace.
This helps kickstart metabolism, facilitates better absorption of fortifying compounds in food, apart from preserving mammary gland and other hormonal operations.
Sit erect, in a comfortable position on the floor. Contract the torso forward, to prominently tighten cleavage and slowly go back to the starting pose. Repeat 10 times.
This motion aids in maintaining the shape of breasts, expands the chest muscles and significantly increases milk production.
Be seated on the ground. Move the shoulders in a synchronized fashion clockwise for 5 motions, then in reverse 5 times. Perform this movement for 20 iterations.
Revolving the shoulders extends the muscles in the upper body, thereby relieving knots, tension, for smooth passage of breast milk.
Play your favourite slow tempo music. Stand straight with feet apart. Stretch your arms in an up-down motion and sideways, whilst circling your hips.
These gentle dancing aerobic exercises excite heartbeat, trigger cardiac muscle activity, which remarkably heightens blood circulation and flow of nutrients to breast milk.
Engaging in time-tested yoga asanas before meals, involving breathing exercises like pranayama, aside from flexible muscular pushes and pulls, offers marvellous merits for promoting lactation in mothers.
These consist of enriching lung power, soothing stress symptoms, alleviating depression, anxiety. This boosts respiration and ameliorates mood, mental wellness.