Baku. 31 July. REPORT.AZ/ An estimated 78 million babies around the world– or three in five – are not breastfed within the first hour, putting them at higher risk of death and disease and making them less likely to continue breastfeeding, say UNICEF and WHO in a new report.
"Report" informs, that according to the report – ‘Capture the Moment’ - Azerbaijan is among the few countries with less than 20% of children receiving early initiation of breastfeeding, indicating that only two in 10 newborn babies in Azerbaijan are breastfed in the first hour of life.
The report notes that newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive. Even a delay of a few hours after birth could pose life-threatening consequences. Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulate the production of breastmilk, including colostrum, also called the baby’s ‘first vaccine’, which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies.
“Breastfeeding helps children receive the best possible start in life,” says Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan. “We are happy to be supporting the Government in promoting exclusive breastfeeding in Azerbaijan, but more can be done to urgently scale up support to mothers – amongst family members, health care workers, employers and the government, so all new-born children receive the life-saving nutrition they need from the moment they are born.”
UNICEF Azerbaijan has supported the Ministry of Health on promotion of breastfeeding since 2016 with a number of activities, ranging from joint communication campaigns to training healthcare professionals.
“The Ministry of Health, with UNICEF’s support, is planning to reinforce the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to encourage health facilities meet international standards of practices on breastfeeding,” says Carwardine.