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Advertisements alluring guardians to avoid breastfeeding

DHAKA, April 18, 2017 (BSS)- Foreign and local advertisements promoting alternative baby foods are now out to prompt the guardians through publicizing misleading information encouraging feeding of other foods to babies instead of breastfeeding.

Being influenced by the colourful advertisements, the tendency of feeding powdered milk to babies is increasing alarmingly. As a result, babies are suffering from malnutrition that weakens their immune system.

The guardians are feeding alternative baby foods to their babies as they are allured to lucrative advertisement and perplexed information by the local and foreign companies.

In this stage, children are suffering different kinds of malnutrition taking such types of food. Immunities of the body are often hampered which causes different fatal diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia and skin diseases.

Nutritionist and pediatricians compared alternative baby food with poison. According to the experts, breastfeeding leads to better overall health outcomes for children, which is why the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies be exclusively breast-fed for a minimum of six months. Only breastfeeding can meet the demand of nutrition. But, breastfeeding is yet to get a satisfactory level in the country.

Pediatrician Dr MQK Talukder said breastfeeding produce antibody for children.He said breastfeeding contains special fatty acids which help children's growth as well as eyesight. As many as 100 useful elements have been found in the mother's milk, which are very essential for the development of children's physical and mental growth, he added.

A kind of thick yellowish milk came out from mother's breast after the birth of a child. It is called colostrums. Though it is little in amount, it is enough for the inborn child. It contains lots of immunities and white blood cells elements. These elements protect children from harmful germs. It is worldwide recognized to that breastfeeding is only and enough full meal for children from zero to six months after birth.

Chairperson of Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation Dr. S K Roy said, after a child gets all sort of nutrient form mother milk. It contains Phosphate that is helps to build children bone and increases baby's immune system and intelligence.

Besides, it reduces the possibility of cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure and other complicated diseases of the children. As a result, initiatives are going on across the world to ensure breastfeeding for proper balanced nutrition of the children after birth Bangladesh Demographic and Health survey (BDHS-2007) said, only 43% inborn baby served milk within one hour where as 92% get colostrums.

This survey also said, 43% children get mother milk (who are under six months in age) while one percent didn't get mother milk. On the other hand, 56% children get others meal beside mother milk.

Advertisements of local and foreign companies shown that children's weight, height, intelligence, structure of brain will be accurate if they are feeding their produced product.

A specialized Hospital for Women and Children BIRDEM-2 doctor professor Sahida Akhter urged the guardians not to be allured by the lucrative advertisements.

She said the foods, publicized in the advertisement, are artificial and poisonous in nature. Artificially mixed vitamins neither boost children's innate strengthen nor their physical stature. The alternative foods contain extra Sodium that creates problems in the kidney.

There is a clear and spontaneous law on selling and advertising baby milk as alternative food in Bangladesh but there is no sign of execution. Most of the people of the country do not know the law. Taking advantages of these unknown people, alternative baby food including powdered milk are being sold in uncontrolled way in the store of country's capital to upazila level.

Regarding the implementation of related laws, Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation Chairman said that the government and other stakeholders have to work diligently in order to implementing laws on promoting breastfeeding.