Mexico, (CIMAC) .- In order to increase the current world rate of 37% of Breastfeeding , as well as its promotion among first-time mothers, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), together with international organizations, urged health agencies and their staff to join efforts in this area.
The agency indicated that during the World Breastfeeding Week 2010 , from 1 to 7 August in more than 120 countries, it will be of paramount importance that health managers promote exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life.
This feeding generates in babies big benefits , by providing them with nutrients that protect them from deadly diseases, in addition to encouraging their growth and development.
Breastfeeding that continues until 2 years, combined with adequate nutrition, is a success.
With the motto of "Breastfeeding: Let's comply with the 10 steps - Friendly hospitals and more", UNICEF is seeking together with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding (WABA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to reach all countries.
The 10 steps, promulgated by WHO and UNICEF for the first time in 1989, ask health institutes to offer pregnant women, new mothers and newborns the following: Have a written breastfeeding policy that is communicated to staff periodically , as well as a training.
Provide information to pregnant women about the benefits and practice of breastfeeding; help mothers start breastfeeding during the first hour after delivery; teach mothers how to breastfeed and maintain breastfeeding even if they are separated from their babies.
Do not give newborns any food or drink other than breast milk, unless directed by a doctor; practice joint accommodation, that mothers and babies are together 24 hours a day.
Promote breast milk to babies, not give them artificial objects to suck, as well as promote the creation of support groups for breastfeeding and refer mothers to them.
Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, commented that "breast milk is the best food a baby can have and breastfeeding offers the child the best possible start in life."
Therefore, UNICEF experts indicate, in addition to following the 10 steps, it is convenient to complement it with primary health care, support in your community, your work and adequate information to women who give birth in their homes.
The World Breastfeeding Week was held for the first time in 1992, with the aim of encouraging the consumption of breast milk for the benefit of children in the world.