One baby dies every 21 seconds worldwide from lack of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding saves lives.
Amarillo, Texas (PRWEB) August 30, 2014
According to the World Health Organization, infant and young child feeding is a key area to improve child survival. The first two years of a child's life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period will reduce morbidity and mortality, reduce risk of chronic diseases, and lead to overall better development. “In fact, optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices are so critical that they can save the lives of 1.5 million children under five every year.”
To say it another way, one child dies every 21 seconds due to lack of breastfeeding.
Some might say that breastfeeding is important in the Third World but not really critical in the U.S., where alternatives abound. Unfortunately, this applies to the U.S. as well. The U.S. now ranks 41st in infant mortality. In other words, babies in the U.S. are dying too. What is particularly concerning is the large disparity by ethnic group and the high infant mortality rate for African-American babies.
But there is good news. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the infant mortality rate among African-Americans had dropped. This drop is largely due to the work of grassroots organizations within the African-American community that increased breastfeeding rates. These organizations are highlighted in a recent issue of Clinical Lactation.
The bottom line is this: Breastfeeding saves lives. It’s critical to support breastfeeding for all families.