Observing that breast feeding alone can reduce infant mortality rates, the Centre has asked the state governments to launch awareness campaigns on breast feeding on the lines of the initiative for polio immunisation.
Breast feeding alone can reduce infant mortality rates by 13 per cent. It is not only the best food for the child but also ensures a strong foundation for good health throughout life, Secretary Women and Child Development Reva Nayyar said.
Nayyar said her ministry has issued guidelines in which early initiation of breast feeding has been kept 'within one hour of birth'.
Even if the mother with primary pregnancy is convinced to adopt early initiation and exclusive breast feeding for the first six months, she needs skilled support at various points so as to solve the problems encountered during breast feeding, Nayyar said addressing a regional workshop on promoting child survival, nutrition, and health.
The workshop organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development discussed the issue of sensitisation of various stakeholders on the importance of achieving optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding practices.