Breastfeeding is optimal for children’s growth and development World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding Week
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The 32nd World Breastfeeding Week was marked from August 1 to 7, 2022 with the slogan "Stand up for breastfeeding: education and support". UNICEF BIH and the Institute for Public Health of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), in cooperation with paediatricians in the FBiH, were once more highlightied the importance of breastfeeding, protection and promotion of breastfeeding as the "gold standard" of children's nutrition.
Dr. Aida Filipović Hadžiomeragić from the Institute for Public Health of the FBiH and dr. Pamela Kapetanović Goluža, paediatrician of Vitez Health Center pointed out the benefits that mothers, as well as their babies, get from breastfeeding.
"Breast milk is the healthiest food for your child. It is the first step in the recommendations for a healthy diet. Why do we recommend breast milk? Because it is an optimal source of nutrients and everything your child needs, especially in the first six months of life. It is recommended that you breastfeed exclusively for up to six months, and then, with supplementary feeding, for at least two years and beyond. Breastfeed your children because it is the best for their early growth and development, for preventing diseases later, especially preventing obesity as a risk factor for chronic diseases", says Dr Filipović Hadžiomeragić.
Breastfeeding is the first, best, easily available and free food for a child. It is a unique measure of preserving the health of the child and the mother because at an early age it promotes the physical, emotional and cognitive development of the child, protects it from respiratory and intestinal infections, and at a later age from the tendency to gain weight, diabetes and high blood pressure. It has a reciprocal benefit for the mother, protecting her from breast and ovarian cancer, the tendency to gain weight and other chronic diseases," says Dr Kapetanović Goluža.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, the emphasis is on breastfeeding during the pandemic, breastfeeding in case of suspicion or infection of a nursing mother with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and vaccination of nursing mothers against COVID-19.
Breastfeeding is recommended for nursing mothers who suspect that they have or are COVID-19 positive, but with precautions, i.e. with all hygienic measures.
"Dear mothers, know that the possibility of your child becoming infected is very small, and the infection is usually mild. Therefore, the benefits of breastfeeding a child from a mother suffering from COVID-19 significantly outweigh the disadvantages of not breastfeeding and the separation of mother and child. If your health condition allows it, absolutely continue breastfeeding during the infection while observing the measures of contact transmission of the virus from mother to child (wearing a mask while breastfeeding, washing hands and disinfecting surfaces). Let's not allow this ominous disease to break that wonderful, unrepeatable, unique connection that breastfeeding builds between mother and child, and that remains present throughout life," said Dr Kapetanović Goluža.
The Institute of Public Health of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina through the campaign "Because of those you love #vaccinate" sent recommendations to nursing mothers for vaccination against COVID-19: Vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended for all nursing mothers. The child is protected if the nursing mother is vaccinated. Numerous studies prove that vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and effective during breastfeeding. Protect yourself! Your health and the health of your child come first!