Three-in-five babies, mostly born in low- and middle-income countries, are not breastfed within the first hour of life, placing them at higher risk of death and disease, according to a new United Nations report launched on Tuesday.
Failing to breastfeed in the first hour after birth, puts newborns at higher risk of death and disease, and makes mothers less likely to persevere with breastfeeding, says UNICEF, together with the World Health Organization (WHO) in a new report to mark the start of World Breastfeeding Week. UNICEF Nutrition Specialist for infants and young children, Maaike Arts, spoke to UN News.
Babies in wealthy countries are five times more likely to miss out on breastfeeding than those in the under-developed, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday, explaining that this gap could be addressed by better support for working mothers, and regulating sales of infant formula.
Breastfeeding within the first hour of birth protects newborns from infections and saves lives, United Nations agencies said at the roll-out of their 10-step guidance to help new mothers and hospital workers embrace this practical advice and give children the best possible start in life.
The United Nations children’s agency today said it is working with governments, the private sector and local communities to make it easier for women to breastfeed their infants, and to end false marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Two United Nations agencies have kicked off World Breastfeeding Week today with a call for enabling new mothers to nurse their babies immediately after birth to prevent a significant number of neonatal deaths in developing countries.