The healthiest start in life is provided by breastfeeding, which is the best basis for a child’s health and nutrition. It is a powerful, economical way to save children’s lives and give them a chance to live and reach their full potential.
The risk of dying in the first 28 days of life is 41% higher for people who start breastfeeding between two and twenty-three hours after birth, and it is 79% higher for people who start one day or more after birth, according to the evidence, compared to newborns who are breastfed within an hour of birth.
In the ideal scenario, breastfeeding should begin within an hour of the baby’s birth. However, only 41.6% of infants in India receive breast milk within an hour of birth. Up to 6 months of age, nursing should be done exclusively. After that, complementary feeding should be introduced, and breastfeeding should continue until 2 years of age. Early breastfeeding initiation is possible for mothers who give birth via caesarean section (c-section) with the help of a lactation consultant.