A mother cradles her newborn baby. In Nepal, doctors and nurses are often out of reach. This newborn suffered complications at birth and was saved by a community health worker who was trained through a Save the Children program. Photo credit: Sanjana Shrestha/Save the Children, August 2011.

In Nepal, doctors and nurses are often out of reach. This newborn suffered complications at birth and was saved by a community health worker who was trained through a Save the Children program.

Celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness

Breast milk is the original superfood but breastfeeding rates have stalled below 38% - with poor breastfeeding practices contributing to the deaths of more than 800,000 children each year.1 We must do more!

About Breastfeeding

You can help reduce the world’s still-too-high infant mortality rate by supporting the work we do every day.

  • Undernutrition is estimated to be associated with 2.7 million child deaths annually1
  • Breast-milk is an important source of energy and nutrients in children aged 6–23 months1
  • Only 39% of children less than six months of age in the developing world are exclusively2
  • Improved breastfeeding practices have the potential to save the lives of 823,000 children3

Inspiring Stories From Moms:

The Young Mother
Mwajuma is 19 years old and a mother for the first time. Motherhood is completely new to her. She is taught on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and on the need for a diversified and nutritious diet for her and her baby in order to grow up healthy. In Tanzania babies only breastfeed for average 2.4 months — far below the recommended six months. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child's life reduces child mortality and has health benefits that extend into adulthood.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Ma Ya Mon Htwe from Myanmar is 1 year and 3 months old and the 10th child of Ma Than Shi. Having breastfed her infant exclusively for the first six months of life with the advice of a midwife, Ma Than Shi says he does not fall sick as frequently as his siblings.

“Before Save the Children came to our village, there was no skilled person to offer any advice to pregnant women. Now we have a lot of knowledge on what to do, how to care for ourselves and the midwife visits once a week to check on me.” said Ma Than Shi.

Limited access to healthcare coupled with low levels of health education and awareness means that children in particular are vulnerable to illnesses and malnutrition, resulting in poor long-term growth and development.

Exclusive breastfeeding could help the most vulnerable children like Ma Ya Mon Htwe gain the nutrients they need for a healthy and happy childhood.

The Midwife From Nepal
Pushpa, a local midwife in her Nepalese village, says she is proud that they she is able to save babies who would have otherwise not survived because of the training in new born care and survival. “Our job is to save both the mother and the baby. When we put the baby on the mother’s chest, our happiness knew no bounds.” Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program has trained over 2000 doctors, nurses, health workers and female community volunteers in Bardiya and Nawalparasi districts.

Nothing Compares To Breast Milk
When the Ludian Earthquake struck China in 2014, 21-year-old Chaoxian and 8-month-old Xuanxuan were amongst 200 people seeking shelter in a school. Breast milk was the only food available in the shelter for young babies like Xuanxuan.“Now my breast milk seems not enough to nourish my daughter and I am thinking of giving her milk formula,” Chaoxian told us at the time. Our Health Project Manager, Liu Yan, exclusively taught Chaoxian about the importance of breastfeeding. “Breast milk is the safest and healthiest food for infants.”

Sources:
WHO
UNICEF
The Lancet

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