Complementary breastfeeding to babies plays a significant role in both infant and mother’s physical well-being and IYCF is the updated breastfeeding strategy for infants’ healthy growth. Do you know that it is essential to keep infants’ nutrients, and proper nutritional attributes may reduce the likelihood of child disability?
Yes, you are reading it correctly. Your child’s physical improvements largely depend on the nutritional values that can be achieved through proper breastfeeding. Let’s jump deeper……
According to WHO and UNICEF global recommendations, breastfeeding has been set out into two segments, i)Exclusive Breastfeeding and ii) Complementary Breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is the first stage an infant goes through, and the first 6months of a child should follow it. During this time, an infant is allowed to take only breastfeeding as the primary nutritional supplement.
Complementary breastfeeding runs through up to two years of age or beyond while infants are allowed to take supplementary food and breastfeeding as during this period they have required additional nutrition for the physical improvements. Complementary breastfeeding to babies is a significant part of IYCF, a strategy to take care of the child by feeding at an early age.
Baby breastfeeding and IYCF
To improve an infant’s physical and mental growth, it is necessary to ensure enough nutrition. In that case, IYCF provides all the nutritional elements which reduce the child mortality rate surprisingly. According to WHO, IYCF works for the child aged two years. Less than two years a child is suffering from malnutrition increases the mortality rate. The key effort of IYCF is to address those infants and reduce this rate through counselling their mothers.
IYCF stands for Infant and Young Child Feeding, which refers to ensuring an appropriate feeding environment for the infant or under-aged child. Proper feeding (Breast Feeding) ensures infants’ overall development and makes them more healthy for their future survival. Here, as feeding is the first and foremost step for a 6-12 months child’s health, every mother should ensure the quality. It is possible to reduce around 6% of the child mortality rate only through appropriate feeding.
There are four guidelines that IYCF follows:
- Complementary feeding
- Infant feeding
- Special situation
Breastfeeding to Babies and its Nutritional Values
Breastfeeding is the only source of nutrition for the first six months of childbirth. Initial breastfeeding starts within one hour of childbirth, and it protects the child from having Infections like Diarrhea. Excessive breastfeeding has been given for the first six months, which is helpful for both mother and child. In addition, it protects the mother and infant from a bacterial or parasitic infection known as Gastronomical Infection.
Proper training for the mothers is necessary to feed the infant by maintaining health and hygiene. However, they are usually feeding their child following some traditional and cultural taboo. Most mothers are not aware of the importance of breastfeeding and its impact on child health. The tribal folks are more conscious of the issue than the common people.
Before feeding and feeding under the sun, cleaning the breast ensures to reduce 4% of child mortality rate, which the tribal people used to follow for a long time. Before feeding, the mother is also required to drink plenty of water so that she will not get dehydrated while feeding. Long-duration feeding also improves the health of the mother. It can lessen the high risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
After the first 6months, the Infant needs to get more energy and nutrients for their continuous physical growth. That’s why complementary foods are also necessary besides breast milk. However, to get introduced to complimentary food, infants need to get used to it slowly and patiently.
IYCF Myths and Misconception
There are some misconceptions about early breastfeeding to babies not only in our society but also globally. For example, some mothers or elderly people from the local community think that the “First Milk” after delivery is insignificant and they discard it. This is the misconception of our society.
The first milk is called “Colostrum” is an important early source of nutrients and gives strong protection against infections. This protection is not available from any other milk. Colostrum is often referred to as a baby’s ‘first immunization’ which regulates brain development. Interested to know about the capability of the human brain? Read more
Baby Breastfeeding & IYCF-E during Emergencies
The major causes of under-five mortality, such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, and neonatal complications, are common preventable diseases, especially in emergencies. Malnutrition increases children’s vulnerability to these conditions.
IYCF-E aims to protect and support proper feeding practices for infants and young children. It prioritizes their needs and enhances their chances of healthy growth, development, and survival despite the emergency environment.
IYCF and Disability link with each other and by following IYCF strategies properly reduces the early child disability rate. Disability is a permanent condition of a person. Many Bacteria pieces of stuff may attack a person due to the lack of proper nutrients. It may reduce the standard capacity of a person day by day for communication and social interaction.
Therefore, as early breastfeeding and the IYCF strategy reduce the disability rate besides the mortality rate, it is mandatory to ensure that a child can fight all types of infections in the preliminary stage of birth.