To tackle malnutrition, mothers in Nandurbar learn breastfeeding method devised at IIT-B

Source: The post is based on the article “To tackle malnutrition, mothers in Nandurbar learn breastfeeding method devised at IIT-B” published in the Indian Express on 3rd October 2022.

What is the News?

A set of modified breastfeeding techniques developed at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), is helping the children in Nandurbar district, Maharashtra to tackle malnutrition.

About the modified breastfeeding technique

Need: High exclusive breastfeeding rate wasn’t helping in reducing malnutrition among children. Due to incorrect breastfeeding techniques, the milk wasn’t reaching the babies’ stomach was the main reason behind it.

Based on: The technique is improvised on the “cross-cradle hold”, mentioned in WHO guidelines for low birthweight babies. With the U-shape contouring of the breast, the mother’s fingers are parallel to the baby’s lips.

This helps with the proper attachment of the baby’s mouth to the lower part of the areola, which makes it easy for the baby to swallow.

Developed by: IIT-B’s Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA).

Promotion: Several animated tutorials on the techniques has been developed and are being translated into 20 Indian languages.

Benefits of this technique: The government’s module says 500 grams of weight gain per month. But this technique has helped in weight gain of around 900 grams a week for newborns in the Nandurbar district.

Note: The National Nutrition Mission guidelines of the Centre recommend 28 grams of weight gain per day.

How Nandurbar district in Maharashtra benefit from this technique?

Videos are used to educate Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) supervisors who, in turn, sensitise the mothers. The ICDS staff are trained with dummy babies and breast-shaped props. The outcome of this technique are,

a) 90% of babies gained more than 25 grams/day in weight in their first three months with these techniques, b) For the first time, the district is witnessing a 30-40 gram per day weight gain among newborns, as compared to 10-12 gram earlier.

Read more: Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative: Private hospitals to be tagged for being breastfeeding-friendly
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