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Only 10 percent of VN mothers breastfeed exclusively

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Only 10 percent of VN mothers breastfeed exclusively

QĐND – Saturday, July 31, 2010, 21:21 (GMT+7)

Health experts have called for urgent action to promote breastfeeding nationally in Vietnam.

This follows a recent survey showing that only 10 percent of Vietnamese children are breastfed exclusively during their first six months.

The call for action was launched on July 29 to mark the World Breastfeeding Week organised by the Ministry of Health and the United Nations under the “Alive and Thrive” initiative. The event is being organised in 120 countries.

“Health personnel and healthcare units play an important role in promoting breastfeeding,” said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Ba Thuy.

“Health staff at maternal and child healthcare units need to tell mothers to breastfeed babies within an hour of birth and to provide guidance on maintaining milk flow,” said Thuy.

Health workers overseas are taught that breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice, it’s an important health choice.

Infant formulas cannot match the exact chemical make-up of human milk, especially the cells, hormones, and antibodies that fight disease.

A recent survey showed that in Vietnam, few mothers initiate breastfeeding in the false belief that mother’s milk production is inadequate.

Le Minh Phuong, a state worker in Hanoi, complained that she could not maintain breastfeeding her baby for six months because the law stipulated she had to return to work after four months’ maternity leave.

“It is very difficult for mothers to maintain breastfeeding activities after maternity leave,” she said.

Lack of support from family members and health workers is another barrier to breastfeeding.

“A strong commitment from the health sector, government and international organisations is important”, said the United Nations Fund for Children acting representative in Vietnam Jean Dupraz.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

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