UK & World News
Breastfeeding Could Save 95 Babies Every Hour
The lives of 95 babies could be saved every hour if mothers started breastfeeding their newborns in the hour after their birth, a charity has said.
Receiving a mother's first milk within an hour will kickstart the child's immune system, making a newborn three times more likely to survive, according to a report by Save the Children.
If the mother continues feeding for the next six months, then a child growing up in the developing world is up to 15 times less likely to die from killer diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea, the report said.
According to the charity, there has been enormous progress in reducing child mortality, but more could be done if mothers were encouraged to breastfeed.
"Despite the benefits of breastfeeding being widely known in the developed world, and it being a free, natural way to protect a newborn baby, too little attention is being paid to help mums breastfeed in poorer countries," said Justin Forsyth, Save the Children's chief executive.
"If every baby was fed during the first hour of life - what we call the 'power hour' - we estimate that up to 830,000 newborn deaths could be prevented every year - that's 95 babies every hour."
Breastfeeding rates are declining across East Asia and in some of Africa's most populous countries such as Ethiopia and Nigeria, according to the report, called Superfood For Babies.
The charity cites as factors a lack of empowerment and education for women, severe shortages of midwives and health workers in the developing world, and lack of adequate maternity legislation.
It also cites "inappropriate" marketing techniques by some baby milk substitute companies leading mothers to believe formula is the best way to feed their babies.
Save the Children's new ambassador, actress Isla Fisher, recently visited Brazil as part of the organisation's campaign.
She found that Brazil was already implementing a plan to encourage mothers to start breast feeding early.
Isla said: "It's shocking that around the world nearly a quarter of babies who die in the first month of their lives could have been saved if they had been breast fed in the first few hours of their life.
"Brazil is an amazing example of how to turn it around. I just wish other countries could follow their example."
Save The Children is calling on the UK Government to use its G8 presidency to fund nutrition work with breastfeeding and on other donor countries to step up their funding.
"This year's G8 - with the UK in the driving seat - is a once in a lifetime opportunity to focus effort on a final push to end hunger," said Mr Forsyth.
what do you think?
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isnt it about time these charities paid some time to educating women on not having children at all if so many children are dying so early in life. and vasectomy for men is not a difficult surgery - why make a life when it cant be looked after nurtured and loved
Breast is best.
This is just another thing puttin pressure on mothers who dnt breastfeed its a choice u make and this makes it sound like ur makin the wrong one if u give a bottle to a baby mothers do a hard enuf job leave them alone an stop guiltin them there isnt real proof either way
You're actually incorrect, 'growing up milk' & its kin have added thickeners & lacks the immune system boosting goodness your baby gets from breastfeeding, there's plenty of evidence & "proof" out there if you do some research.
Breast is best.
I breast fed my child till he was 3 and a half years old and he still picked up every illness going. I was lucky and my son latched on straight away. There are some babies that can't. There is too much pressure on mothers to breast feed. I can't imagine loosing a child but if they are ment to survive they will. The world is already over populated. Contraception should be the main focus not breast feeding
I agree completely, I didn't breastfeed any of my three children... they were all happy, chubby, sunny tempered babies. They have never had anything worse than the occasional cold or odd sick bug, they are all fit and healthy, and we have a great bond. I've got the greatest respect for women that do breastfeed, but it wasn't for me, and the substitute did just as well. Having said all that, this article is more about the bad alternatives that are on the market in developing countries. Educate!
This stuff annoys me. Looking after children properly saves more lives. This bullying mothers into breast feeding is getting obscene. My wife wanted to but couldnt and despite the distress and depression it was causing her the midwives and health visitors continued to bully and blackmail her. After six weeks she gave in and went to bottle and thats when she felt happy and our child thrived. She once went to a massage group for babies and the first thing she was asked was do you breastfeed?! Why? What has that got to do with anything?!! All these muppets should concentrate on educating at school level. Not belittling and scare mongering.