Laura Poy Solano
Newspaper La Jornada
Wednesday, August 3, 2022, p. 14
Although breast milk is the best food for a newborn, as it provides protection against infections, does not cause allergies and strengthens the immune system, only three out of 10 are exclusively breastfed with it in their first six months of life.
The inappropriate practice of breastfeeding in Mexico, said Miguel Malo, representative of the Pan American Health and World Health Organizations in the country, causes more than 5,700 infant deaths a year, and recognized that those who encourage the consumption of milk formulas are doctors and health personnel.
In the seventh National Forum on Breastfeeding, convened by the Ministry of Health (Ssa), the Mexican Institute of Social Security and civil organizations, it was highlighted that in public medical units, 55.8 percent of pregnant women received information about the benefits of breastfeeding. breastfeeding, compared to 24.2 percent of those who attended private clinics.
Meanwhile, in the context of the World Breastfeeding Week, which takes place from August 1 to 7, the Ssa, through the National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health, reinstated the Permanent Interinstitutional Group for Breastfeeding, that will promote the monitoring and execution of strengthening actions, feedback and evaluation of the strategies in the matter.
The working group also agreed to set up the National Observatory on the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, in order to monitor the correct application of this instrument.
At the forum, specialists warned about the importance of promoting breastfeeding and creating the conditions for mothers to express milk in decent and hygienic conditions in their workplaces to guarantee exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, as well as how to generate adequate environments for healthy eating in early childhood.
Malo stressed that in Mexico the international code for the marketing of substitutes must be complied with, in order to stop the promotion of the consumption of formula milk and guarantee a budget to carry out this task.