Meenabai Sachin Pawra gave birth to a baby boy on 27th July at Taloda Taluka in Nandurva District, Maharashtra. Like many other children in this tribe-controlled area, the child was underweight. The country’s most malnourished children bear the greatest burden.
However, in the first week of August alone, his weight increased from 2.18 kg to 3 kg. This is the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B).
Hundreds of newborns across Nandurbar are benefiting from these technologies, just like the Meenabai children. The district witnessed for the first time that her daily weight gain as a newborn increased by 30-40 grams from her previous 10-12 grams.
“We have never seen such weight gain in such a short period of time. It is helping not only to reduce but also prevent undernutrition in the district,” said Ashwini, Chief Health Officer of Nandurbar. Dr. Desale said.
Rupal Dalal, associate professor at IIT-B’s Center for Alternative Technologies for Rural Areas (CTARA), developed these new breastfeeding techniques.
So how do they differ from existing ones? Dalal told The Indian Express in an email that the technique was improvised with a “cross-cradle hold” referred to in WHO guidelines for low birth weight babies. A U-shape that outlines the breast so that it is parallel allows the baby’s mouth to be properly attached to the bottom of the areola.
“In this position, the baby is very close to the mother, the baby’s head is well controlled by the mother’s hands, and the neck can be stretched back, which makes it easier for the baby to swallow,” she says. I was.
IIT-B’s CTARA has produced several animated tutorials on the technique which have been translated into 20 Indian languages. Dalal researchers are using these videos to educate Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) supervisors and sensitize mothers. ICDS staff are trained using baby dummies and breast-shaped props.
Minal Karanwal, sub-divisional officer leading the project, said: Stretch his neck while drinking water. ”
Anganwadi workers and health officials regularly visit new mothers to ensure they are using the correct techniques.
Dalal, who has years of experience in child nutrition, says the technology has increased newborn weight gain by about 900 grams per week. but “that’s too low in my opinion,” she said.
A previous study conducted by Dalal showed that 90% of babies gained more than 25 grams per day in their first three months using these techniques.
According to Karanwal, the exclusive breastfeeding rate in the district is 86.6%. This calculation should have minimized the incidence of malnutrition. However, according to NFHS-5 data, Nandurbar’s indicators of stunting, wasting and underweight are not satisfactory. District records show that 30.7% of children are wasted, 57.2% are underweight and 45.8% are stunted.
“We found that high rates of exclusive breastfeeding were not helping to reduce malnutrition in children. We realized it wouldn’t reach the baby’s stomach,” says Karanwal.
While the center’s National Nutrition Mission guidelines recommend a weight gain of 28 grams per day, the Health Spoken Tutorials helped the school district achieve a weight gain of 35 to 50 grams per day.
“To know if a mother is breastfeeding correctly, we also need to look at growth rate, which has not been done so extensively before compared to the current situation,” said Dalal. We also develop useful mobile applications,” says Karanwal.
District collector Manisha Khatri said the app will now be developed in the region’s eight tribal languages.
In June, she spoke about the initiative at Prime Minister Modi’s conference in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. “It was highly appreciated by the Prime Minister,” Khatri said.
Even educated mothers are unaware of proper breastfeeding techniques, according to Dalal, so it is important to introduce the technique across the country, including in urban areas.