Tag: Global Breastfeeding Collective

#Marchis4Nutrition: What if Moms had access to the support needed to reach their breastfeeding goals?

In honor of National Nutrition Month, 1,000 Days is kicking off its annual #Marchis4Nutrition campaign to amplify the critical role the world’s mothers play in nourishing the next generation. During the next 4 weeks, we will be imagining a world in which moms have the support they need to give their children a healthy start to life. This week we’re asking:

What if moms had access to the support needed to reach their breastfeeding goals?

A world in which women receive support to breastfeed is a world in which women and children thrive. Enabling women to breastfeed for as long as they desire would result in less illness and disease, as breastfeeding plays a key protective role for infant health.  Fewer children would die from diarrhea and pneumonia – two of the leading causes of child mortality globally – as well as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)—a leading cause of infant mortality in the U.S. If babies were breastfed early and exclusively for the first 6 months, evidence shows that over 820,000 lives could be saved each year.

And it is not just babies who would benefit from breastfeeding. For every year a mother breastfeeds, she significantly reduces her risk of developing ovarian cancer, invasive breast cancer and heart disease.

“If moms had access to the support needed to reach their breastfeeding goals, they could reduce their risk for certain cancers while providing the optimal nutrition for their children.”
– Helen Keller International’s ARCH Project

So what will it take for moms to have the support they need? From the outset, women need access to quality healthcare, including skilled breastfeeding counseling. Women need access to job-protected paid time off from work to care for their newborns and to establish breastfeeding. And women need better policies and programs that enable them to start and continue breastfeeding as long as they choose, including breastfeeding education efforts and restrictions on the unethical promotion of infant and toddler formula.

For women and children living in conflict or emergency settings, even more support is needed. Ample privacy and space, psychological counseling and assistance with attachment and positioning are critical. For some mothers, breastfeeding can even help reduce stress. But it means strengthening systems of support to do so.

“Breastfeeding is the natural diet containing all the nutrients a child needs.”
– Nutrition International’s National Program Manager, Dr. Ahsanullah Khan Bhurgri

ALL moms need support to reach their breastfeeding goals. Join the #Marchis4Nutrition conversation on Facebook and Twitter this month and tell us what you think: What does the world look like if moms have the support they needed to reach their breastfeeding goals…?

To learn more about the worldwide support needed for breastfeeding, check out the Global Breastfeeding Collective, a partnership of 20 prominent international agencies and non-governmental organizations, including 1,000 Days and led by UNICEF and WHO.

Breastfeeding: A Collective Responsibility

Over 820,000 children die each year and millions more suffer from avoidable diseases and learning difficulties as a result of suboptimal breastfeeding practices. If even half of all babies under 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed, we would save hundreds of thousands of lives and help protect against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes in mothers across the globe.

Breastfeeding benefits all of us – and is up to all of us to give support to the millions of mothers who want to breastfeed but do not have the support they need.

This World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), 1,000 Days joins the World Health Organization and UNICEF to launch the Global Breastfeeding Collective – a partnership of 20 prominent international agencies and non-governmental organizations committed to increasing investment in breastfeeding worldwide. Smart investments are needed in programs and policies that enable more mothers to reach their personal breastfeeding goals.

We want children to thrive, and that means giving the millions of mothers who want to breastfeed the support they need. The Global Breastfeeding Collective will fight for a world in which mothers and families across the globe are empowered to breastfeed.

To elevate the importance of needing better policies and greater investments in programs that support breastfeeding, the Global Breastfeeding Collective also launched two new reports:

The Global Scorecard for Breastfeeding 

This new scorecard presents a daunting reality: No country in the world meets recommended standards for supporting breastfeeding. The scorecard evaluated 194 low-, middle-, and high-income countries on seven factors including financial investment, workplace protections, health care services, and community supports for breastfeeding and found most countries aren’t doing enough to protect the health and well-being of mothers and babies.

Click here to view the scorecard.

The Investment Case for Breastfeeding

A new investment case shows how investing in breastfeeding now will save lives, money, and lead to health and economic well-being worldwide for generations to come. The report reveals that in order to meet the World Health Assembly target of increasing the percentage of children under 6 months of age who are exclusively breastfed to at least 50% by 2025, an additional $5.7 billion is required. This investment translates to just $4.70 per newborn.

Click here to read the full report.

Greater progress in breastfeeding is possible. With the right level of ambition and the right policies and investment, countries can fully realize the potential gains from breastfeeding.

This World Breastfeeding Week, let’s remember: No one breastfeeds alone. Together, we can support women with better policies and investments, implementing solutions to get real results for children, families and entire nations.

If you are interested in receiving communications materials to help share these new reports and to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week please contact Amanda at amanda@thousanddays.org.