Breastfeeding versus milk formulae

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Breastfeeding is a healthy technique to feed infants and young children. But it’s under risk now because of modernity. There are questions in the minds of women and families concerning the sufficiency of breastmilk, its nutritional worth, and its impact on a breastfeeding mother’s body due to the onslaught of milk formulae, or so-called breast-milk substitutes, and their aggressive, reckless, and highly unethical marketing.
In some rare circumstances, milk formula is undoubtedly necessary, and when used properly, it can be beneficial. However, these instances are rare. It shouldn’t be the standard, yet it has. Additionally, unlike what manufacturers would like us to believe and what they advertise as being, it is never a substitute for breast milk. Before 1865, there was no milk formula, yet the human race had already endured. However, it is bad business if it is only employed in constrained circumstances.
Therefore, it is crucial for suppliers to promote it to mothers as the norm; in doing so, they undermine the sufficiency of breast milk as well as its nutritional value and plant the seed of guilt in the mother’s mind, making her feel as though she is not adequately feeding her child by forgoing milk formula.
The World Health Assembly adopted the International Code for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in 1981 after expressing concerns about the general fall in breastfeeding patterns associated with many reasons in poor nations throughout time. In 1974, the 27th WHA had reported an overall drop in breastfeeding due to the creation of artificial breast milk. It asked member nations to examine sales marketing practices for infant food and take the required corrective measures, such as advertisement codes and legislation, if needed. However, the WHA itself established an international code to the same effect in 1981 after protracted arguments, with 118 countries voting in favors and just one voting against the code.
Infant formula “should not be marketed and distributed in ways that interfere with the protection and promotion of breastfeeding” and “[T]here should be no advertising and other form of promotion to the general public of products within the scope of this Code,” according to the code’s core principles.
No healthcare facility shall be utilized to promote infant formula, according to the policy. Manufacturers or distributors should not offer financial or other incentives to promote items covered by this Code to health workers or members of their families, nor should these incentives be accepted by the health workers or members of their families. Since the creation of this code, the WHA has passed a number of resolutions asking member nations to take action on a variety of other breastfeeding protection-related issues.
To protect nursing, the regulation should be adhered to as a “minimum condition.” It exhorts governments to take action, such as passing domestic legislation to carry out its directives. 144 of the 194 nations have in some way made the code legitimate.In addition to helping countries execute the code, there have been numerous international, regional, and national monitoring studies to see how governments are reining in milk formula distributors’ and manufacturers’ excessive marketing efforts. Such monitoring efforts have been made by organizations like the WHO, UNICEF, the International Baby Food Action Network, and numerous more national organizations.
The Network for Consumer Protection in Pakistan successfully lobbied the government to pass the Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance, 2002. The hard data from a poll that same organization did in 1998 with 33 cities and towns across the nation provided the background for this effective lobbying effort.A paper titled Feeding Fiasco – Pushing Commercial Infant Foods in Pakistan revealed the survey results. It was discovered that not a single company was abiding by the international code in its totality and that every fourth mother was purchasing some sort of milk formula in more than 2,500 one-on-one sessions with moms, nurses, doctors, pediatrician’s, and corporate representatives.
Numerous provisions of the international code were incorporated into Pakistani law. The application of this regulation has proven difficult, and milk formula manufacturers continue to break it every day. Unfortunately, a lot of medical professionals, especially pediatricians, continue to eat, drink, and be entertained by the milk formula industry, which also pays for their travel expenses and those of their families. Mega-entertainment galas are held under the guise of scientific conferences, and they are all funded by the same businesses that continue to advocate for milk formula and discourage breastfeeding.
Who knows better than these unethical professionals that a formula-fed infant living in unsanitary conditions has a six- to twenty-five-fold increased risk of dying from diarrhea and a four-fold increased risk of dying from pneumonia compared to a breastfed child.
Less than 50% of moms in Pakistan are exclusively nursing during this time despite Quranic prohibitions against it for the first two years and scientific data in favors of it for the first six months. Because breastfeeding is not adequately protected, many moms are converting to milk formula, endangering their children’s health as well as their own. Breastfeeding lowers a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 6% every year. Additionally, breastfeeding lowers the risk of ovarian cancer.
The fact that women do not become pregnant during this time is another significant advantage of nursing for two years. It is nature’s way of spacing out births so that mothers may adequately nourish and care for the child while also recovering from the physical strain of the previous pregnancy and delivery. Thus, encouraging breastfeeding has a natural population control effect. This is one of the most effective approaches to handle the demographic tsunami we are seeing in Pakistan.