Infant Rights: NA considers bill on breastfeeding

Infant Rights: NA considers bill on breastfeeding

The National Assembly of Armenia will soon discuss the bill on ‘Promoting Breastfeeding and Baby Food Circulation’, by which for the first time a baby’s right to breastfeeding will be approved; the advertisement of artificial food will be banned and restricted; punitive measures will be defined.

Suren Krmoyan, head of the staff of the Ministry of Health, says that under the new law the State will take some definite measures, and will regulate baby food circulation.

“Babies under six months old must only be breastfed; the law aims to regulate the sphere and remove all obstacles,” Krmoyan says. “After the adoption of the law, a national program on boosting breastfeeding will be adopted, according to which all the corresponding measures will be taken. The State and employers will have to create corresponding conditions for mothers who feed their babies with breast milk. Demands towards baby food labeling will also be regulated.”

Under the new law the advertisement and all means of boosting breast milk substitutes will be banned. Krmoyan says that baby’s milk formulas are not encouraged to use, and they will be given only under a doctor’s prescription, and this very idea lies in the essence of the law.

The current law, which was adopted in 1998, defined no administrative liability for law breakers, the new law
will fill up that gap.
Karine Saribekyan, head of the Administration for Protection of Maternity and Child Health of Ministry of Health of Armenia, says that breastfeeding is the best beginning of a child’s life.

“According to world statistics, if breastfeeding is secured, the by that alone all cases of infant death will be decreased worldwide. Babies who are breastfed, become ill seven-ten times less, and they die seven times less,” Saribekyan says.