Fewer children in Moldova are breastfed exclusively in the first six months of life
Chisinau, August 1, 2011 - In Moldova, more mothers resort to mixed or artificial feeding of babies in the first year of life, says the Study on knowledge, attitudes and practices of families in early childhood development, conducted in 2009 by UNICEF.
The product most often used in mixed feeding of newborns is cow milk (37.4%), followed by fermented milk and goat milk. Every second parent in rural areas and every second parent in poor families uses cow milk as the first product in mixed or artificial feeding of infants.
World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend mothers to breastfeed their babies up to the age of two years. In the first six months of child’s life, breastfeeding should be exclusive. "Exclusive breastfeeding" means that no other liquid or food, except breast milk is given to the child.
The study shows that correct infant feeding practices prevail in urban areas (46% compared with 21.1% in villages) and among parents with higher education (42.3%).
Doctors warn that parental practices to use complements in infant feeding for the first six months of life is harmful because the digestive system is not capable of processing other food than breast milk.
Breastfeeding also benefits mothers. It reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer later in life, helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers rates of obesity.
The week of promoting breastfeeding, marked by the international community during 1-7 August, is organized in Moldova by the Ministry of Health in partnership with UNICEF and WHO to inform families with small children and future parents about the benefits of breast milk for children of young age.
Irina Lipcanu, Media Officer UNICEF, tel: 269 235, email@example.com