MAA-MOTHERS ABSOLUTE AFFECTION: NATIONWIDE BREAST FEEDING PROGRAMME
Union Health Minister J P Nadda launched nationwide breast feeding programme “MAA-Mothers Absolute Affection” aimed at promoting the practice among mothers.
He said the programme is a very cost effective and significant health intervention along with deworming programme. He said that the breastfeeding programme will greatly help to reduce the under five mortality of children. For the MAA programme, a total of Rs 30 crores has been allocated while each district will be allotted Rs 4.3 lakh for implementing the various activities under it.
As per available data sets, around 20 per cent newborn deaths and 13 per cent under-five deaths can be prevented by breastfeeding.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Colostrum (also known as beestings or first milk) is a form of milk produced by the mammary glands in late pregnancy and the few days after giving birth. . It is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep baby healthy. Colostrum is extremely easy to digest, and is therefore the perfect first food for new born baby. It is low in volume (measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces), but high in concentrated nutrition and antibodies for the newborn. Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice.
Colostrum actually works as a natural and 100% safe vaccine. It contains large quantities of an antibody called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) which is a new substance to the newborn. Before your baby was born, he received the benefit of another antibody, called IgG, through your placenta. IgG worked through the baby’s circulatory system, but IgA protects the baby in the places most likely to come under attack from germs, namely the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs, and intestines.
Colostrum has an especially important role to play in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. A newborn’s intestines are very permeable. Colostrum seals the holes by “painting” the gastrointestinal tract with a barrier which mostly prevents foreign substances from penetrating and possibly sensitizing a baby to foods the mother has eaten.
Colostrum also contains high concentrations of leukocytes, protective white cells which can destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses.