Breastfeeding taskforce

Breastfeeding is the first vaccination for babies: Pediatric Society

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Indonesian Society of Pediatrics (IDAI) Breastfeeding Working Group has highlighted the importance of breast milk for infants and said breastfeeding is the first vaccination for babies.

“Breastfeeding is the first vaccination of babies to stave off disease and prevent death,” task force leader Dr. Naomi Esthernita F. Dewanto noted during a virtual seminar as part of the commemoration of World Breastfeeding Week, which was followed from here. Saturday.

In addition to containing essential nutrients needed by babies, breast milk contains immunoglobulins (antibodies) that strengthen the local gastrointestinal immune system, she noted.

Breast milk also contains other protective components, such as lactoferrin, which can inhibit the growth of bacteria, and lysozyme, which can destroy bacterial cell walls found in the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, she explained.

The presence of bioactive substances in breast milk supports the baby’s immune system, because at birth the baby’s immunity is still weak.

“Immunoglobulin is passed to the baby through breast milk. Therefore, immunoglobulin is also an immunization, the defense of the baby’s body,” she noted.

Dewanto, who also heads the Department of Pediatrics at Tarumanegara University, pointed to the drop in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for six months for babies.

She cited basic health research data, which showed a decrease in exclusive breastfeeding rates from 61.33% in 2017 to 37.3% in 2018.

The latest report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also showed that in 2021, only one in two babies received exclusive breastfeeding for six months, i.e. only 50% of babies, she said. declared.

According to Dewanto, advertisements for breastmilk substitutes, lack of family and community support, and limited breastfeeding facilities in the workplace and in public places are factors that have affected the drop in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding. .

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