Full-time Lactation Expert on staff in all maternity hospitals in India

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Priya Shashank
Priya Shashank signed this petition

Majority of Maternity set-ups in India do not have dedicated Lactation Professionals in their staff. According to the National Health Survey 2015-16, 15 million out of 26 million babies born in India did not receive milk from the mother's breast within an hour of delivery, despite the fact that 80% of childbirths happen in healthcare facilities in India. Not getting mother’s milk in the first hour of their lives puts babies at a higher risk of hypothermia and catching diseases.

Even if breastfeeding is initiated early on after childbirth in a hospital set-up, there is often no access to round-the-clock skilled lactation support in most hospitals in India. This results in mothers not being able to cope up with breastfeeding problems and challenges and encourages use of formula as an alternative to breastmilk, thereby decreasing a mother's confidence in her ability to breastfeed her baby, resulting in poor breastfeeding continuation rates.

Having skilled lactation professionals on board in each maternity set-up can solve both issues above. A skilled lactation professional has the training to make a mother understand the challenges and help her troubleshoot breastfeeding issues as soon as they arise. This results in empowering her as well as her family/support system, thereby increasing the country's breastfeeding rates.