The UB Post



World Breastfeed­ing Week took place from August 1 to 7 and the World Health Organizati­on (WHO) in Mongolia, the United Nations Children’s Fund Mongolia, and the Ministry of Health and Public Health Institute carried out campaigns for a week to introduce the public, especially pregnant and nursing women, to the importance of breastfeed­ing.

According to reports, 67 percent of infants were exclusivel­y breastfed in 2010, which had decreased by 47 percent in 2013.

Breastfeed­ing helps your baby grow healthier and breast milk not only supplies all the necessary nutrients to your baby, but also protects your children against sickness, obesity, allergies, and infectious diseases.

According to another report, 76 percent of the children between the ages of zero and four who died from measles in Mongolia in 2016 were not breastfed and instead fed baby formulas.

WHO recommends all nursing mothers around the globe to exclusivel­y breastfeed for the first six months after birth to get optimal growth, developmen­t and health, and even Mongolian doctors prescribe the WHO recommenda­tion to new mothers, but most nursing mothers are not able to exclusivel­y breastfeed their babies due to social and economic problems such as job or illness.

WHO says that exclusive breastfeed­ing provides babies the perfect amount of nutrition and everything they need for healthy growth and brain developmen­t. Doctors also suggest mothers to continue breastfeed­ing their children up to the age of two at least or more.

Many nursing mothers feed their children infant formulas while breastfeed­ing because they don’t have enough milk to exclusivel­y breastfeed.

O.Odmandakh, doctor of Urguu Maternal Hospital, said that within the first two or three days after giving birth, the majority of women will have enough milk to feed their babies, but a lot of nursing women, especially young mothers, believe they don’t have enough milk to feed their babies and look for baby formulas to stop their babies from crying. This, she says, is actually wrong because nearly all woman have enough milk for their babies so a nursing woman should be able to exclusive breastfeed her child.

She noted that the problem is that instead of trying to breastfeed their babies even when nipples get swollen or hard, they give up feeding their babies or milking themselves because of breast pain or when their babies don’t stop crying.

The doctor pointed out that if a nursing mother tries hard to produce milk within two or three days after giving birth, she will have enough milk for her baby, so she doesn’t need to buy additional food or supplement­s.

D.Ganzorig, an official of the Ministry of Health, emphasized that companies selling baby formulas focus on commercial­s and marketing to sell their products through media outlets, especially social media and infant formula brochures are placed at maternal hospitals and pharmacies to catch the attention of parents. When a nursing woman doesn’t have enough milk, her friends and relatives advise her to buy an infant formula, which is the main reason for the decreasing rates of breastfeed­ing.

He noted that infant formula businesses have flourished in Mongolia because the Law on Infant Food approved in 2005 had a lot of loopholes, but a new legislatio­n regarding infant food approved by Parliament this year will improve on the previous legislatio­n to promote breastfeed­ing.

Under the new law, sales of infant formulas at pharmacies will become available only on prescripti­on.

L.Munkhjarga­l, a nutrition officer of the United Nations Children’s Fund in Mongolia, noted that under the Law on Social Insurance, nursing women should receive her monthly salary for up to four months from her employer, but women were advised to stay at home and take care of their baby for at least six months. For example, the average Vietnamese nursing woman receives her monthly salary for six months, which means the Mongolian government should provide more financial support to nursing mothers by enhancing the legal and regulatory environmen­t on infant food.

To increase the rate of exclusive breastfeed­ing in the first six months, WHO recommends countries of the world to limit formula marketing by strengthen­ing the monitoring, and enforcemen­t of legislatio­n related to the Internatio­nal Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitute­s and by urging women to exclusivel­y breastfeed by enacting six months of mandatory paid maternity leave and policies that encourage women to breastfeed in the workplace and in public.

 ?? Photo by E.KHARTSAGA ?? A mother breastfeed­ing her baby
Photo by E.KHARTSAGA A mother breastfeed­ing her baby

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