27 July 2023

Breastfeeding: 7 baby-friendly do’s and things to avoid

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things, but that doesn’t mean it comes naturally – for both mothers and their babies.    It takes time and practice. And every mother’s breastfeeding story is different.   But there is one consistent thread throughout each of these stories: they are giving their babies the healthiest start to life.  …, Do: Breastfeed in the first hour of your delivery , Whether you give birth at a health centre, hospital or at home, breastfeeding your new baby within the first hour of life gives them the best chances of surviving and ultimately thriving.    Breast milk is your baby’s first vaccine, boosting immunity against harmful diseases. Even a delay of a few hours can have life-threatening consequences for…, Do: Exclusively breastfeed your baby for 6 months , From the first hour of life up until they are 6 months old, your baby can get all the nutrition they need from your milk. They don't need anything else – no other foods or fluids, not even water – during this time.  Introducing foods or fluids other than breastmilk before your baby reaches 6 months can increase the risk of illnesses, such as…, Do: Make sure your baby is attached well , Establishing proper attachment is the key to making sure that breastfeeding is a comfortable experience for both you and your baby.  Sore or cracked nipples are usually a sign that your baby is not properly attached at the breast when feeding. If one or both of your nipples begin to crack or bleed, visit your local healthcare centre as soon as…, Do: Breastfeed on demand , Your baby’s needs are constantly changing and so are their hunger patterns. Be attentive and breastfeed your baby whenever they show signs of being hungry.    Breastfeed your baby as often as they want - throughout the day and night. Try not to limit yourself to a feeding schedule. Let your baby decide when they want to feed and for how long.  …, Do: Keep you baby awake while breastfeeding , It’s natural for your baby to fall asleep while breastfeeding, especially in the first few weeks of life.   If your little one keeps dozing off, it could impact the amount of milk they are getting.   Keeping your baby awake while breastfeeding is an important way to make sure they are getting enough food. It can also help your baby develop good…, Do: Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water , Your body is losing a lot of liquids while breastfeeding.   That’s why it’s important to increase the amount of water you are drinking in order to stay properly hydrated. This will also help your body to produce milk.   It’s recommended to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. While water is the best for your body, you can also drink milk and fresh…, Do: Express your breastmilk  , You may not always be able to breastfeed your baby.   Expressing your breastmilk – milk that is pumped with a hand or device – is safe and is a great way to collect and store your milk, so that you can feed your baby when needed.   If you are away from your baby, for example, if you have gone back to work, expressing can also help to maintain your…, Do: Support breastfeeding mothers , Breastfeeding isn’t a one-person job. Breastfeeding mothers need the support from their partner, their family, healthcare workers, employers and their entire community.  At home, you can help by playing an active role in caring for the baby, including changing their diapers and bathing the baby. Take on household chores like cleaning and cooking,…, Mini Parenting Master Class on Breastfeeding 
23 May 2023

Four steps to deliver dramatic results for malnourished children

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – More than 3,000 health facilities in Afghanistan reach around 85 per cent of the population, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas. But in urban areas, it is the larger city hospitals that fill gaps in health and nutrition care. These hospitals are often supported by a patchwork of national and international NGOs.  This system…, Turning crisis to opportunity, The emergency in Afghanistan offered UNICEF the chance to re-examine nutrition services in urban settings. In partnership with the European Union (EU), UNICEF could address the grave gaps in nutrition care and design a four-part strategy to scale nutrition services in urban areas., 10-month-old Fatima is screened by doctors Expanded outpatient and inpatient departments, In response to overcrowded out-patient and in-patient facilities in urban hospitals, which were unable to cope with demand, the urban scale-up strategy provided more rooms, more equipment, and more staff. Initially, European Union funding covered 68 health facilities with out-patient departments for severe acute malnutrition services., An Afghan woman holds cash she has received Incentives to caregivers, As the economy crumbled and poverty soared, in-patient care came into sharp focus. Parents do not have the money to stay in the hospital with their critically ill children. Many others have other children at home and live on infrequent daily wages. Although care is free, the cost of transportation or missed daily wages can still be high for many…, children and their mothers share a hot meal Day-care centres, In the most densely populated areas, in the heart of neighborhoods, UNICEF created day-care centres.  These offer nutrition counselling, treatment, a playroom for children, hot lunches prepared following a cooking demonstration, and the opportunity for mothers to meet in a safe environment. These centres are cost-effective and successfully reach…, children listen to Naz Gul, a nutrition promoter with the UNICEF-supported mobile health and nutrition team Community engagement, The work by women inside the day-care centres is complemented by outreach during community gatherings, including weddings. Male social behaviour mobilisers advocate with fathers and community members to encourage mothers to take their children for screening of malnutrition, receive treatment when necessary, and learn about routine growth…, Nutrition day-care centres: An oasis of hope and respite, Nutrition counselors at the day-care centres Nutrition counselors at the day-care centres lead cooking demonstrations, teaching mothers to prepare healthy meals like vegetable soup with affordable proteins, such as chickpeas. By the end of 2022, UNICEF opened 50 day-care centres across Kabul. The centres are bright, warm and welcoming. They are an…
06 February 2023


Challenge, Good nutrition is the foundation children need to be able grow into healthy, happy, productive teenagers and adults.   Yet for millions of children and young people in South Asia, getting the nutrition they need to grow, learn and even survive is near impossible.  Over the last few years, the region has been hit by crisis after crisis. Climate…, Opportunity, Over the past two decades, South Asia has made significant progress in preventing malnutrition in children. Between 2000 and 2019, the number of stunted children declined by one third. Meaning, 33 million less children suffered stunting in 2020 than in 2000.  But much more needs to be done to ensure every child gets the nutritious food they need…, What UNICEF is doing, UNICEF works with governments, academia and partners to strengthen national leadership on nutrition and improve policies, strategies and plans to deliver nutritious foods, essential nutrition services and positive nutrition practices for children, adolescents and women, especially the most vulnerable.  We are committed to upholding every child’s…, Resources, These resources represent a selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the region. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information. Nutrition Exchange (NEX) South Asia: Improving the diets of young children  Nutrition Exchange (NEX) South Asia: Maternal Nutrition   Field Exchange: Child Wasting in South Asia  …, Featured stories, Featured multimedia, UNICEF South Asia Dr. Sapna Desai shares one myth about breastfeeding UNICEF South Asia 2 years old, Krishanthi is suffering from severe acute malnutrition. There are 25 others like her in her village with 330 children under 5. Display caption Show Original Caption Display caption Show Original Caption UNICEF South Asia Adam Liaw discusses…