UN issues advice to kick off World Breastfeeding Week
To unlock the lifesaving potential of breast milk, UN news reports that two United Nations agencies have unveiled 10 steps to help mothers successfully breast feed, kicking off World Breastfeeding Week today.
According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants because it is safe and gives them the nutrients necessary for healthy development. It also contains antibodies to protect infants from common childhood illnesses.
Too many mothers, WHO said, stop breastfeeding exclusively a few weeks after delivery for many reasons, such as lack of breastfeeding counseling.
Some 35 per cent of infants between the ages of 0 and 6 months are solely breastfed worldwide, said Elizabeth Mason, Director of WHO's Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development.
“But if all babies and young children were breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life and then given nutritious complementary food with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age, the lives of an additional 1.5 million under five would be saved every year,” she added.