UNICEF: 4-month paid maternity leave in Azerbaijan 'insufficient'
Considering babies are breastfed in the first six months, 4-month paid maternity leave in Azerbaijan is insufficient for mothers, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Azerbaijan Min Yuan told reporters on Monday, APA reported.
“Breastfeeding the child is not an easy process because the mother is also supposed to deal with work, education, and household. Therefore, the whole community should be of support to the mother who breastfeeds her baby,” she said noting that UNICEF is constantly working for breastfeeding to be encouraged in Azerbaijan.
The UNICEF representative said that currently mothers in Azerbaijan are given two months’ leave before and after birth-giving, which said is not enough for the babe to be breastfed in the first six months.
“Moreover, a number of companies selling artificial baby food promote their products, which reduces the number of babies being breastfed. On the other hand, private companies do operate within the law,” Min Yuan added.
She emphasized that UNICEF jointly with Azerbaijan’s Health Ministry conducted an assessment of low rates of breastfeeding.
According to her, the assessment revealed that some people are not aware of the benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and babies.
“In addition, sometimes there is a contradiction between the information provided to mothers in medical institutions, doctors and the information in advertising of artificial foods and it confuses mothers. Breastfeeding is considered the first vaccine of babies and protects them from a number of serious illnesses, and mothers from breast and ovarian cancer,” the UNICEF representative added.
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