COVID infected mother can breastfeed infant

Webinar organised to discuss importance of breastfeeding to end malnutrition

Bhilai, Sep 30: A webinar on the topic “Breastfeeding and Malnutrition” was organised the other day under the auspices of the Department of Women and Child Development as a part of the month long celebration of “Poshan Maah 2020” (Nutrition Month). To prevent malnutrition, children should be given breast milk for the first 1000 days of infancy, opined subject experts who participated in the webinar. Breastfeeding plays a vital role in the proper development of children. The speakers at the webinar were District Collector Dr Sarveshwar Narendra Bhure, Dr Omesh Khurana, BPNI National Trainer sand Head, Department of Pediatrics, Chandulal Chandrakar Memorial Medical College, Durg; Abhisekh Singh, Unicef; Dr Seema Jain, Consultant pediatrician, District Hospital, Durg; Amandeep Kaur, Associate Professor, Nursing.
Dr Bhure in his address explained that it is important to focus on mother’s nutrition first to prevent malnutrition, because, if the mother is healthy and well-fed then only the fetus will develop. Therefore, Women and Child Development Department in association with Health Department is operating various scheme to end malnutrition. Highlighting the importance of iron and folic acid in pregnancy, Dr Bhure mentioned that all Anganwadi workers should ensure that iron-folic acid supplementation reaches pregnant women. The Collector further said that breastfeeding is very important during the first 1000 days of the baby growth years. Scheduled vaccination is also necessary along with this. He said that the Department of Women and Child Development provides a variety of services from pregnancy to child birth and till the time a child attains 6 years of age. He appealed to everyone to take advantage of these services and provide support in reducing the percentage of malnutrition in the district. He agreed that although the services of Anganwadi centers are getting affected in the corona period, ready-to-eat food is being delivered door to door through Anganwadi workers. He praised the work of door-to-door survey conducted by Anganwadi workers during the corona period and encouraged them to do better.
Dr Nohar Singh Thakur of Durg-Bhilai Academy of Pediatrics informed that research has established that first 1000 days of the baby’s life after birth are most important in the development, so it is important to take special care of their nutrition.
Subject expert Dr Omesh Khurana discussed the diet of breastfeeding mothers and the precautions to be taken during the Corona period. He said that it is mandatory for the mother to wear a mask at the time of breast feeding. COVID -19 Virus has not been found in mother’s milk. If the mother is infected, breastfeeding can be done by wearing a mask. But first the mother needs to wash her hands thoroughly and use a mask. He explained that mother’s milk increases the immunity of the baby, so it is necessary to feed the child by the mother immediately after birth.
Dr Seema Jain discussed in detail the need to supplement nutrition of a child after the age of 6 months. District Program Officer Vipin Jain informed that various events were organized by the Women and Child Development Department throughout the month. The innovative means being adopted to continue fight against malnutrition along with following the COVID protocol were also discussed. Abhishek Singh of UNICEF discussed change in the behavior of society regarding nutrition. The live event was attended by CDPOs and supervisors of all the projects in the district.

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