NEW DELHI: Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, has launched an outreach program to train and empower expecting mothers and families, and train healthcare professionals. On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1st-7th Aug 2017), Philips Avent, aims to drive greater awareness and adoption of breastfeeding practices, Philips Avent will focus on promoting key messages on the importance of breastfeeding, societal barriers and the various solutions available to help prolong breastfeeding to the extent possible.
During the World Breastfeeding Week and beyond, Philips Avent will reach out to expecting mothers and families through various touch points like antenatal and postnatal classes in major hospital chains, as well as conducting in-depth Nurses Training Programs to educate the primary caregivers.
Philips Avent will also focus on digital parenting platforms to spread awareness on the various issues that women face during and after pregnancy and provide guidance.
ADA Ratnam, President- Personal Health, Philips India, said, “At Philips, we are committed to give babies the best start in life to set the stage for healthy futures. Ensuring that every child is breastfed for as long as possible, is one of the most important ways to enable this. With Philips AVENT, we try and provide a complete ecosystem to support this. Besides our Philips Avent breast pumps, we have designed breastmilk storage containers, breastmilk warmers that use the latest technology to heat refrigerated milk without nutrient loss, and state of the art sterilizers to ensure the best possible hygiene while feeding the baby. Our intent is to ensure that the assisted breastfeeding concept does not get lost in translation, and that we are there as a support system every step of the way.”
Dr. Raghuram Mallaiah, Fortis India said, “India loses more children under five each year, and more than half of these deaths occur in the neonatal period. Of the 27million babies born in India approx. 13% (3.5million) are born preterm & 28% (7.6million) with low birth weight. Human breast milk has the greatest potential impact on child survival, since it provides unique nutrition and immune support that babies need to strive and thrive. However, the awareness on the importance of breastfeeding and early nutrition is still poor among new mothers in India with many avoiding feeding colostrum (first milk) to the baby. It is imperative that mothers breastfeed exclusively during the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth and development of their babies. Breastfeeding should continue till two years of age for a child, to have the best possible impact on a child’s health. I am glad to be part of this initiative by Philips Avent which is working towards strengthening its ecosystem to drive wider awareness and adoption of breastfeeding in India and is committed to help mothers raise healthy babies.”
According to UNICEF India, India has the highest number of low birth weight babies per year at an estimated 7.4 million. Only 25% of newborns were put to the breast within one hour of birth, thus depriving 75% of infants from Colostrum. Around 46% children under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Also, according to World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTI), launched by IBFAN, India is ranked 31 out of the 51 countries in the infant feeding practices. This percentage was found higher in neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan.