By Amina Nazarli
The government of Azerbaijan eyes a ban on advertising infant formula to parents as part of attempts to encourage more mothers to breast-feed.
Under the amendments proposed to the law "About nutrition of infants and young children", the advertising of artificial feeding for pregnant women and mothers will be banned in health facilities and public places.
Firms will still be allowed to advertise only in case they have the certification documents.
The advertising must indicate the certificate number, date of issue and the name of the issuing authority. It also should provide information on the age limits for product and note the benefits of breastfeeding.
The bill will be discussed at the plenary session of the Azerbaijan's Parliament on November 29.
Today public health community is a great advocate for breastfeeding, as breastfeeding is not only the normal way mammals feed their young, it’s the ideal way, and it’s almost free.
In addition, breastfeeding strengthens ties between mother and newborn while at the same time strengthening the health of the child.
UNICEF research proved that breast milk protects children from diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, two diseases which frequently lead to infant mortality. Moreover, the organization's researches also revealed breastfeeding women have a smaller change of getting breast cancer while it also helps to delay the next pregnancy and allows the mother and child to recover.
Only 50 percent of children less than one year of age in Azerbaijan's regions were fed breast milk, in Baku the figure is 45-48 percent in 2010, according to the Director of Scientific Research Pediatrics Institute Nasib Guliyev.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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