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Mehta’s Hospitals Breast Feeding Mother’s Support Club

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Helpline 24X7 Telephone Number – 4280 5555 launched.

Breast Feeding Mother’s Support Club  first of its kind in Tamil Nadu was launched at Mehta’s Hospitals by the Health Secretary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Dr. J. Radhakrishnan IAS, in the presence of many paediatricians, nurses and whole team of doctors from the hospital and well wishers.

Every Tuesday between 11.00 am to 12.00 pm this support club will be open to public, pregnant mothers or new mothers can come with their close relatives, like mother, grandmother and spouse. It’s a free entry Club. And specialist’s doctors will be present to clarify any query, doubt which they have regarding Breast feeding and the baby.

Dr. V.  Saroja, Minister of Social Welfare and Dr. Rekha Kurian, Director, Joseph’s Nursing Home who were the Guests of Honour at the event spoke about the club and its importance in today’s scenario. Dr. Rekha also made the first Telephone call to the Breast feeding Helpline and spoke about the huge difference it is going to make to the mothers all over Chennai and Tamil Nadu.

Dr. Lakshmi V, Head of the Neonatology Department and International Board certified Lactation Consultant Dr. Jayashree Jayakrishnan of Mehta’s Hospitals together took up this unique challenge and worked on it for over 6 months to understand clearly what were the concerns and doubts of young mothers who had just delivered their babies.

According to Dr. Lakshmi this is going to be a boon to any other mother or mother to be or even to parents and grandparents to help their children understand Breastfeeding issues.

Dr. Saroja in her address said that each mother should breast feed the new born baby for at least 6 months continuously. Even though there is total awareness about mother’s milk the success rate is 56.4% in TN.  She added that Micro Nutrition deficiency and silent hunger are two great dangers that children may face, if the breast feeding is not done as per normal routine.

As against the national average of 38.4% babies who are under weight, anaemic and under nourished TN average was better 27.4 %. The government wants to bring down this to 20% by 2020. She praised the management and doctors for this excellent move which will in particular help who are unable to breast feed or have other issues which impact the growth of child. There is also a move within the department to bring the anaemic percentage from the current 3% to 2% by 2022.

Dr. J Radhakrishnan, Health Secretary said this move is not a private initiative by Mehta’s Hospitals but a trigger to make it into a public movement. Dr. Rekha Kurian stressed that all corporate offices should have a “Women’s Privacy Room” were working mother’s could not only breast feed their children but also store their breast milk for use later on. Dr. Radhakrishnan mentioned that 352 public places have already been identified for such privacy rooms, which will help lactating mothers.

Elaborating on the causes Dr. Jayashree Jayakrishnan said, we all know mothers with babies admitted are prone for depression due to various reasons including financial stress .One of our study showed 72 out of 74 mothers i.e. nearly 100 % of mothers had postpartum depression as per the EPDS “Edinburgh postpartum depression scale “and one of the strong association was lack of family support along with financial stress and sickness of the baby in NICU. Hence family centred care and support should be focussed on. A study which was done on 357 discharged preterm’s to look at the rate of re-admissions during the first year of life. Only 15% of the discharged preterms were exclusively breast-fed at 6 months of age, in spite of being exclusive feeds at discharge. But the good news is that none of the 15% preterm’s required re-hospitalization compared to others. Hence our club will focus on post discharge follow-up of breastfeeding.

With this initiative we are expecting to help mothers in establishing exclusive breastfeeding atmosphere which do benefit mother, baby and the society as well.

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