Global perspective Human stories

UN Gender Focus: Breastfeeding Special

UN Gender Focus: Breastfeeding Special


This week we're bringing you a special programme to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, which runs until 7 August.

Breastfeeding protects both babies and their mothers from an array of diseases and helps boost their health long-term.

But despite the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers, no country in the world fully meets recommended standards for the practice.

The finding comes in a "scorecard" published this week by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with an initiative to boost breastfeeding rates, known as the Global Breastfeeding Collective.

The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard found that only 40 per cent of children younger than six months old are breastfed exclusively; a key WHO recommendation.

Partners called on countries to increase funding to raise breastfeeding rates from birth through two years.

As a mother currently breastfeeding her own son, Ana Carmo was very interested to talk to Laurence Grummer-Strawn, an expert on the issue with the WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

She started by asking him what the consequences were of not breastfeeding.

Presenter: Ana Carmo

Duration: 10'00″

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