Patna: Bihar Inter-faith Forum for Children (BIFC) organised a state-level orientation workshop on the role of faith leaders in promoting breastfeeding in collaboration with Unicef and NGO Vikasaarth on Tuesday. The programme was organised to mark World Breastfeeding Week (from August 1 and 7).
The workshop was attended by over 100 faith leaders from different religions, government and Unicef officials. The workshop was inaugurated by the secretary, Imarat-e-Shariah Anisur Rahman and Unicef Bihar chief Asadur Rahman among others. All the faith leaders took a pledge to promote breastfeeding through their organisations during the week.
Communication specialist of Unicef, Bihar, Nipurnh Gupta, spoke on the role of faith leaders in promoting breastfeeding.
Anisur Rahman said the holy Quran said it was a mother’s responsibility to feed her newborn her first milk and continue to do so for two years and the father should take care of the mother’s diet and rest. Quoting from the Quran, he said that as a societal responsibility, another lactating woman should come forward and breastfeed a child if the biological mother was unable to do so. “Imarat-e-Shariah will promote breastfeeding,” he said.
Community medicine in-charge at Tripolia Hospital, Sister Monica Manuel, shared her experience of working with pregnant and lactating mothers. She said her hospital promotes breastfeeding by encouraging skin-to-skin touch between mother and child to provide stimulation to the mother, as it increases milk flow. She also cautioned against using formula milk as it contains preservatives. “People often feed their newborns cow milk, but nowadays people inject cows to extract milk. Hence, cow’s milk contains traces of harmful chemicals. Consuming roots of satawar (a form of asparagus) or drumstick leaves can also increase flow of breast milk,” Monica said.
Unicef Bihar chief Asadur Rahman said that according to the National Family Health Survey-4, only 35 per cent of mothers feed their children within an hour of birth. “Breastfeeding is the first immunisation for the child. Every child, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, has the right to get mother’s milk,” he said.
Vijay Kumar Jain, said according to Jain religion a mother’s milk has all the necessary nutrients that a child needs. The nutrients only get transferred through mother’s milk. “So a child should only be fed mother’s milk till six months of age. Only after it attains six months should it be fed supplementary food along with mother’s milk,” he said.
Courtesy: The Telegraph