World Health Organization is one of the organizations working under the auspices of United Nations. Founded in 1948, this organization provides guidelines, support and resources to help countries fight sickness and disease. This support organization, since its inception has helped many countries to fight infectious diseases and outbreak of epidemics such as SARS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Influenza and HIV (AIDS). WHO also takes on the responsibility of developing vaccines, diagnostics and drugs for fatal and infectious diseases.
WHO has also actively promoted the benefits of breastfeeding since the early 1960s’. According to their recent research, less than 40% of children under the age of 6 months are breastfed exclusively all over the world. Needless to say, this has contributed to over a million of avoidable mortality among infants all over the world.
The World Health Organization has advocated many guidelines and recommendations for new mothers. Some of them are listed below –
- Breastfeeding is a natural and ideal food provided for the children by nature. Breast milk not only nurtures the child, but also provides the necessary nutrients, antibodies and builds up the child’s resistance. Breastfeeding should be the first and foremost option of all mothers before they can even consider anything else.
- It is recommended that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months before turning to other food supplements.
- Breastfeeding should begin within one hour of the birth.
- Breast milk is the safest food that Mother Nature provides the babies with. Breast milk contains many natural antibodies that protect the child from many infections that cause fever and diarrhea.
- Breastfeeding is also very beneficial for the mother since it helps to reduce obesity, helps the mother to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight and also reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
- According to research, adults who were breastfed by their mothers for at least a year enjoy better health with reduced cholesterol, fat and low blood pressure than those who were not breastfed.
- WHO cautions mothers who feed formula milk to their baby. Formula does not have the antibodies that breast milk has and furthermore there is a risk of water borne infection through formula milk. If the bottles are not properly sterilized or if the water is unclean the baby might get a stomach infection.
- However mothers who are infected with HIV virus can feed formula milk to their child. WHO recommends that they ensure that the formula is prepared under hygienic conditions with safe drinking water.
- Breastfeeding in the initial stages is definitely painful, which is why WHO has set up more than 20,000 baby friendly centers all around the world to provide support and encouragement to new mothers to breastfeed their little ones.
- Lastly WHO recommends at least 16 weeks of leave of absence from work for working mothers so that they can exclusively breastfeed their child.