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Breastfeeding week

  Fewer children in Moldova are breastfed exclusively in the first six months of life

  • From 97% of children who are breastfed in Moldova, only 30% receive exclusive breast milk for the first six months of life, as recommended by WHO and UNICEF
  • Incorrect feeding practices of babies prevail in rural areas and poor families, where every second parent complements breast milk with other foods in the first six months
  • Doctors warn that other foods than breast milk may harm baby's digestive system
  • 1-7 august is the global week of promoting breastfeeding
 World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend mothers to breastfeed their babies up to the age of two years and exclusive breastfeeding for 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.
   According to World Health Organization and UNICEF breast milk meets all the needs of infants and is the only food product that can be digested and assimilated in the first months of life. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of malnutrition, anemia, and stature retardation among children up to 2 years. It also helps prevent infections and respiratory diseases, strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of future serious chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, digestive diseases etc.

  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,
  Lilia Oleinic, Minister of Health, tel: 268826,



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