Rabat – Since becoming a “ formula-feeding” society, breastfeeding in Morocco is in a “critical” condition, as only 27.8% of children are exclusively breastfed during the first six months of their lives, revealed the lasted figures of the Ministry of health.
The ministry also underlined that only 26.8% of mothers breastfeed their infants after delivery, the rest use substitutions such as bottle feeding.
Despite consistent efforts to promote infant and young child breast feeding, the state of the issue remains a cause for concern worldwide, as less than 40% of infants under six months are breast-fed.
“This lack of interest lies mainly in women’s lifestyles, which have evolved considerably in recent years. In urban areas, many women have careers and sometimes prefer to use the bottle directly. Others mistakenly think that breast milk alone is not enough for the baby’s diet, preferring milk powder, rich in vitamins and calcium. Yet, there is a link between prolonged breastfeeding and higher IQ testing results and academic success for the child, “said the ministry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers breast milk to be the benchmark for infant feeding during the first months of life and recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and the continuation of its use by associating it with appropriate supplements at least until the age of two.
WHO explained that “while breastfeeding is a natural act, it is also a learned behavior,” adding that many researches proved that mothers and other caregivers require “active support for establishing and sustaining appropriate breastfeeding practices.”
As the world celebrated the 11th Day of Breastfeeding on Wednesday March 29, an opportunity to remind women of the benefits of breastfeeding, the ministry is currently preparing a national breastfeeding awareness campaign that will take place from April 1 to 10.