UNICEF issues guidance for breastfeeding

CNC
Added On April 14, 2018

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund have issued a new ten-step guide to increase support for breastfeeding in health facilities that provide maternity and newborn services. 
 
It's estimated that if all babies were breastfed until they were two years old, the lives of more than 820,000 children could be saved each year.
 
Lifestyles has the story.
 
Victor Aguayo, Chief of Nutrition at UNICEF, stressed the need to protect and promote breastfeeding.
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) VICTOR AGUAYO, Chief of Nutrition, UNICEF:
"We want to make of the protection of breastfeeding and the promotion of breastfeeding a universal practice that are not just limited to a few hospitals or a few maternities. Protecting breastfeeding, promoting breastfeeding needs to be the norm in every single maternity, every single health facility."
 
He said the reason why breastfeeding is important is because it protects lives.
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) VICTOR AGUAYO, Chief of Nutrition, UNICEF:
"It is extremely importance, one because breastfeeding protects lives. Breastfeeding is saving thousands of children's lives every year, year in, year out. It also promotes healthy growth in children. Children grow taller, children are less likely to be overweight and obese later in life. It promotes brain development, but it also protects women's health, the health of the mothers'. Breastfeeding is associated with lower risk of various cancers, breast cancer and obesity in women. So there are many reasons to protect and promote breastfeeding."
 
Aguayo also talked about the challenges that women face, in many western countries, if they want to breastfeed in public. 
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) VICTOR AGUAYO, Chief of Nutrition, UNICEF:
"Women should be supported to breastfeed wherever they need to breastfeed and we should see that as a norm. So start to get use to the idea that breastfeeding it the best starting life. We need to support women who choose to breastfeed to breastfeed where and when they need to breastfeed, be it in public place, be it in a private place, be it in the workplace as well. We also need to make our workplace breastfeeding friendly. We need to support women to combine working life with their breastfeeding practice."
 
According to UNICEF, breastfeeding is vital to a child's health, and reduces costs for health facilities, families, and governments. 
 
Breastfeeding within the first hour of birth protects newborn babies from infections and saves lives.