Is society doing enough for breastfeeding mothers, asks BabyChakra’s Annual Breastfeeding Survey 2019
Parenting platform BabyChakra spoke to 2,000 mums from across India and asked them questions on their various experiences with breastfeeding.Rekha Balakrishnan
According to a Unicef report, 1.2 million children under the age of five die every year, and half of these deaths occur in the first 28 days of life, a time referred to as the neonatal period.
Global evidence shows that children who are exclusively breast-fed are 14 times more likely to survive the first six months of life than non-breastfed children.
But is society doing enough for breast-feeding mothers? This is what a survey conducted by parenting platform BabyChakra sought to find out. The annual breastfeeding survey, which was conducted on its app, asked some hard questions on breastfeeding.
The survey included 2,000 mums from all over India who were asked pertinent questions on breastfeeding like, “Were you able to breastfeed your child within three hours of giving birth?”, “Were you aware of the benefits of colostrum during delivery?”, “Did you get into depression during breastfeeding? and more.
Parents, families, medical practitioners, and brands were part of the survey.
And here is what the survey found. Only 50 percent mothers are able to breastfeed their child in the first three hours, which is also called the golden hours, though 88 percent knew about it.
Naiyya Saggi, Founder, BabyChakra, says, “Only 50 percent of mothers are able to breastfeed their baby in first three to four hours after birth. This is a worrying statistic knowing that more than 80 percent mothers know the importance of colostrum and health benefits of breastfeeding babies within first couple of hours. As a platform that supports more than two million mothers and families every month, we tried to understand the underlying reasons challenging mothers from breastfeeding. From surveying 2000+ mothers on our platform, this report presents the most critical and under presented reasons for why mothers are unable to breastfeed. With this survey we intent to create an awareness of the need to support breastfeeding mothers and create a sense of responsibility as a society and caregiver to overcome these challenges.”
When asked who their biggest support was during their breastfeeding journey, 41 percent mothers said it was doctors, 30 percent said it was either their mothers or mothers-in-law, and only 29 percent listed their spouses.
Sixty-seven percent of mothers said they looked up to a parenting app for answers on breastfeeding, while 68 percent mothers revealed they visited a lactation consultant for help.
Ninety percent of the 2,000 mums surveyed said that they breastfed their child for more than one year.
This fantastic piece of information owes its credit to the mothers, support system of caregivers, mum communities, digital platforms, and brands that are helping them in their journey.
However, what remains a major cause for concern is how mothers are perceived when they breastfeed in public. Nearly 54 percent mums still struggle to breastfeed in public.
The survey asks some pertinent questions - When will we become a #breastfeedfriendly society? Why should a baby have his/her meal in a washroom or a car? If a mum is confident of feeding the child in public, why are we as a society so uneasy?
According to the survey, the young Indian father is increasingly evolving in his role, and actively participates in the growth and development of the child. However, when it comes to breastfeeding, it is viewed as a woman’s domain.
Also, there are several issues that affect breast-feeding. Did you know emotional stress, sleep deprivation, and physical stress can cause low milk supply? If a husband can be the strongest emotional support, the number of new moms slipping into post-partum depression would substantially fall. It concludes by declaring that a happy wife is a happier mum.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)