TEHRAN – Robin Nandy, the representative of UNICEF in Iran, has said that granting 9 months of maternity leave to mothers in Iran is admirable, praising the country for promoting breastfeeding.
Nandy made the remarks at the ceremony of “World Breastfeeding Week” at Razi International Conference Hall held on Monday.
During the coronavirus pandemic, breastfeeding infants has ensured food security, improved nutrition in communities, and reduced inequalities, he highlighted.
Pointing out that every dollar invested in breastfeeding has a return of $35, he noted that in addition to preventing many diseases in children and mothers, breast milk is one of the smartest investments to improve human capital and accelerate economic growth in societies.
Stating that only 44 percent of babies in the world are exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of life, he said that breastmilk acts like a child’s first vaccine.
Breastfeeding rates in societies with deep gaps between income groups are lower, he further stated.
Appreciating Iran for promoting breast milk, he said that it is necessary to implement family-oriented policies in countries with at least 18 weeks of leave after childbirth to promote and strengthen breastfeeding.
Iran’s decision for granting 9 months of maternity leave to mothers is admirable and UNICEF supports these policies, he highlighted.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from 1 to 7 August every year.
Iran ranks first in West Asia for breastfeeding of immature newborn infants, as 11 breast milk banks have been established in the country, the head of the mother’s milk bank of Al-Zahra hospital in the northwestern city of Tabriz said in August 2020.
Worldwide, about 600 breast milk banks have been established, with the first established in Austria, he noted, adding that there are currently 210 breast milk banks in Europe and Brazil alone has 210 milk banks.
HIGHLIGHT: Iran ranks first in West Asia for breastfeeding immature newborn infants, as 11 breast milk banks have been established in the country.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/475259/UNICEF-commends-Iran-for-promoting-breastfeeding