Approximately 80 million babies are at risk of dying or developing diseases because of breastfeeding delay after birth. If not breastfed within one hour after birth, babies might be exposed to illnesses and even death, as a new study revealed, carried out by UNICEF and the WHO.
According to the latest report, the majority of these babies are from low- and mid-income countries.
Also, UNICEF and the WHO reveals the importance of breastfeeding babies within the first hour after their birth. Accordingly, the first milk they drink, the so-called colostrum, is very rich in nutrients and antibodies that the newborn needs to avoid any risks in the early days of life.
“When it comes to the start of breastfeeding, timing is everything. In many countries, it can even be a matter of life or death. Yet each year, millions of newborns miss out on the benefits of early breastfeeding and the reasons – all too often – are things we can change,” said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
Breastfeeding delay after birth exposes 60% of babies at risk of dying and developing diseases
According to the recent report made by UNICEF and the WHO, the majority of the mothers from Eastern and Southern Africa know the benefits of breastfeeding their newborns within the first hour after birth and apply this practice.
On the other hand, East Asia and the Pacific present the lowest rates in this regard.
By countries, almost 9 in 10 babies from Burundi, Sri Lanka, and Vanuatu are breastfed within the first hour after birth, while, on the other hand, in Azerbaijan, Chad, and Montenegro only 2 in 10 babies are enjoying this healthy practice.
“Breastfeeding gives children the best possible start in life. We must urgently scale up support to mothers, be it from family members, health care workers, employers, and governments, so they can give their children the start they deserve,” stated Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.