World Breastfeeding Week or WBW is celebrated from 1st August to 7th August every year, while the World Health Assembly (WHA) seeks to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding . In line with this and to create awareness, promote and sustain exclusive breastfeeding, especially for infants’ health and survival, LACTACON 2022 was organised by “Yashoda” Advanced Human Milk Bank: Comprehensive Lactation Management Training and Research Centre of Department of Pediatrics,Dr.D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune .This 5th Lactacon conference was organised in Association with BPNI Maharashtra (Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India), POGS (Pune Obstetric and Gynecological society), IAP Pune (Indian Academy of Pediatrics) and IMA- PCB (Indian Medical Association – Pimpri Chinchwad Bhosari Branch). It was held at Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Pimpri.
Over 235 delegates from all over Maharashtra and nearby states attended the conference pediatricians, obstetricians, lactation consultants, breast surgeons, interns including Undergraduate and postgraduate students. Dr. Mangala Wani – (President BPNI Maharashtra) Dr.Parag Biniwale (President POGS) Dr. Parag Gaikwad(President IAP Pune), Dr.Vijay Satav ( President IMA PCB ),Dr.Dilip Kamat (Patron IMA PCB) and various dignitaries also graced the occasion and actively participated in the conference.
The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2022 by WABA( World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action) is ‘Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support’ – seeks to involve governments, communities, and individuals to raise awareness about a sustainable breastfeeding environment. Keeping with this, the Lactacon conference saw the diverse group of attendees who had discussed a range of subjects, including hiccups in breastfeeding, the importance of the first 1000 days , role of obstetricians in breastfeeding, baby-friendly hospital initiative, IMS act,Human Milk Banking and much more.
The conference was inaugurated by Chief Guest Dr. P. Vatsala Swami – Director, Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and Guest of honor Dr J. S. Bhawalkar – Dean,Dr.D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune . The Vote of thanks was given by Dr. Shailaja Mane, Organising secretary , Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics and Incharge of Yashoda AHMB & CLMTRC. The conference was supported by Dr. PD Patil, Chancellor, Dr.Bhagyashree Patil, Pro Chancellor and Dr. Yashraj Patil, treasurer of D Y Patil Vidyapeeth Society.
Dr. Bhagyashree P Patil, Pro-Chancellor – Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Pimpri, Pune, said, “I wish to reaffirm our commitments as a state. We will continue to put more efforts and structures, including at the community levels, to ensure that the importance of exclusive breastfeeding is amplified.” She further added, “We will also continue to work with the traditional and community leaders to ensure success is achieved. I am grateful to our partners for their continual support in ensuring that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding is increased in the state.”
Dr. Sharad Agarkhedkar,Organising Chairperson and Professor , HOD Dept. of Pediatrics, Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Pimpri, Pune, said, “Breastfeeding a baby is an overwhelming and emotional experience for new mothers. Human milk is all a baby needs for the first six months of life. The act of breastfeeding holds equal importance in the lives of mothers and infants. Not only does it help in the all-around development of the newborn baby, but it also helps new mothers to connect with their babies.”
The highlight of the day was the Nukkad Natak guided by Dr.Sampada Tambolkar was performed by the U.G. students of Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, which showed the in-depth knowledge of 2nd year MBBS students about breastfeeding, and was appreciated by all who were present.
The release of informative brochures about importance of Breastfeeding was done during the inauguration.
The event concluded with a special act by the doctors – ‘Aap ki Adalat’ (mock court), where the top pediatricians, Dr. P. Jog, Dr. Navrange, Dr. Arti Kinikar, and Dr. Sharad Agarkhedkar, were the ‘prime accused.’ Meanwhile, Dr. Umesh Vaidya – a neonatologist, played the role of the ‘Judge,’ and Dr. Amruta Desai was the ‘government pleader.’ Through this unique format, several important issues like consent, charges, procedures, and more were discussed. At the end of the court session, it was concluded that there is a need for an amendment to the IMS act in order to avoid the misuse of human milk.