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I’m a Pediatrician in India. Here’s how I support breastfeeding.

Jul 26 2022

Dr TiwariFor World Breastfeeding Week 2022, we've asked a variety of people how they support and promote breastfeeding. Dr. Satish Tiwari is a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at Dr P D M Medical College Amravati. He is also Chairperson of the Infant and Young Child Feeding Chapter - Indian Academy of Pediatricians and Founder Secretary IYCF Chapter IAP. This is how Dr. Tiwari supports breastfeeding.

“When I was a medical student, we learned about breastfeeding, and that a mother’s milk is best for the baby. It was very clear in our minds: Formula milk and animal milk are harmful to the baby. We looked for like-minded people in our association and we formed this Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) chapter also.

“Although in 1992, India had enacted the IMS Act (Infant Milk Substitute’s Act), very little had changed in 30 years. In 2003, government amended the act, and after that there was some response – advertisements in popular monthly family magazines decreased. But violations were quite common among pediatricians and obstetricians.

India's IMS Act reflects its commitment to implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Learn more about the Code here.

“About three years ago, the Indian Academy of Pediatricians, an organization with about 30,000 members, took the position that these violations have to be stopped. We came out with guidelines for our members, including a letter to inform them.

“There was much resistance at first because many of these professionals were interested in getting benefits from the companies that make the products – not only samples but, more commonly, sponsorship for their programs and conferences. 

“It is better now. After we sent an official letter from IAP, now they are knowing it is not only unethical but unlawful. Incidences of taking such sponsorships are gradually decreasing. In last two to three years, we feel things have moved here very, very fast.

“We also formed a Human Milk Bank (HMB) Association of India. Now, there are around 100 HMBs in India. In 2013-2014, we hardly had 15. In the last eight years, we have added almost 75-80 new HMB and many more are coming. We will have 150 to 200 within the next few years. HMBs are a better option than powdered milk or formula.”

Learn more about Alive & Thrive's work with medical colleges in India here.

Join the conversation

Submitted by Dr. Vijay Kuma… on Wed, 08/03/2022 - 22:58

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Sir there is no doubt about the breast milk being a nectar and it is the duty of the medical profession to support, promote and PROTECT the Breastfeeding.
I am also associated with this task almost for the last three decades and it gives me lot of satisfaction. Have observed nth no. WBW weeks, given interviews on DD, published several articles on Breastfeeding for public Awareness. Would continue...with blessings of Satish Tiwari Sir.

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