World Breastfeeding Week momentum to promote breastfeeding: KSP

World Breastfeeding Week momentum to promote breastfeeding: KSP

Chief expert staff at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), Brian Sri Prahastuti, in Jakarta on Friday (August 5, 2022). (ANTARA/HO-Kantor Staf Presiden)

The macro and micro-nutrients contained (in breast milk) can reduce stunting among infants
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The 2022 World Breastfeeding Week offers an opportunity to promote and bolster exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first six months of life, Presidential Staff Office (KSP) chief expert staff Brian Sri Prahastuti has said.

The percentage of babies receiving exclusive breastfeeding has shrunk in the past three years, with the exclusive breastfeeding rate declining from 68.7 percent in 2018 to 65.8 percent in 2019, the chief expert staff pointed out.

"Moreover, in 2021, only 52.5 percent out of 2.3 million babies under six months old received exclusive breastfeeding. This means the number has continued to decline," Prahastuti noted in a statement released here on Friday.

Breast milk contains complete nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutritious substances, that are sufficient and suitable for babies' growth, she highlighted.

"The macro and micro-nutrients contained (in breast milk) can reduce stunting among infants. Hence, it is important that mothers provide exclusive breastfeeding during their babies' first six months," she stressed.

Further, the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in mothers can be suppressed through breastfeeding, the KSP official said.

Prahastuti cited research that has concluded that breastfeeding benefits mothers by allowing their body cells, hormones, and dietary health to be maintained.

Support from the immediate environment for breastfeeding mothers, particularly from their husbands and closest family members, must also be ensured, she said.

"It is also important to improve the healthcare system to enhance its capacity to provide and maintain a safe environment for breastfeeding mothers," Prahastuti added.

Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that exclusive breastfeeding is vital for reducing childhood stunting.

"The optimal breastfeeding practice is the key to reducing stunting growth among children below five years old to achieve the global and national target to reduce stunting by 40 percent," WHO representative N. Paranietharan said here on Monday (August 1, 2022).

The representative also urged the Indonesian government to bolster efforts to reduce stunting and promote exclusive breastfeeding among mothers.

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