Golden truths about breastfeeding and breast milk

August 1 to 7 is World Breastfeeding Week! Find out why breast milk is crucial to a child’s health and why mothers should opt to exclusively breastfeed their babies.


August 1 to 7 is World Breastfeeding Week! Find out why breast milk is crucial to a child’s health and why mothers should opt to exclusively breastfeed their babies.


5 facts about breastfeeding you need to know


1. Increasing rates of breastfeeding could save the lives of more than 820,000 children under the age of 5. (UNICEF)


2. Globally, only 38% of children younger than 6 months are exclusively breastfed. (WHO, 2014)



3. Exclusive breastfeeding is a cornerstone of child survival and child health because it provides essential, irreplaceable nutrition for a child’s growth and development. (WHO)


4. Babies not exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life have a 14x higher risk of death than infants who are exclusively breastfed.


5. Malnutrition has been responsible, directly or indirectly, for 60% of the 10.9 million deaths annually among children under five. Well over two-thirds of these deaths, which are often associated with inappropriate feeding practices, occur during the first year of life. (WHO, UNICEF)



7 Golden truths about breast milk


1. Breast milk is free and universally available, even in very resource-constrained settings.


2. Milk changes its nutritional profile as the baby grows (milk made for a 3 month old is different than for a 9 month old).  Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration.



3. Breast milk contains endorphins which soothe and calm babies during times of stress.


4. Breastfed children have at least six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children.



5. Breast milk is filled with disease fighting bacteria that keep baby’s digestive systems functioning properly.


6. It is safer, easier and less expensive to give the mother more food than to expose the baby to risks associated with breast milk substitutes.


7. In the long term, breastfeeding reduces type 2 diabetes and cancers like breast, uterine and ovarian for the mother.


Let us join hands to promote, protect and support exclusive breastfeeding for healthier, happier children!World Vision/August 5, 2016




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