A recent U.N. study found that there is little effort put into encouraging mothers to breastfeed up until a period of six months, which is considered recommended. Its purpose was also to reduce the mass-production of baby-formula as a replacement for natural milk. Breastfeeding was proven to have countless benefits for both the baby’s health and mother’s: it lowers the risk of infant deaths, improves the baby’s physical development and the intelligence quotient. Moreover, it also it lowers the probability of ovarian and breast cancer in women.
Studies suggest that investing in breastfeeding is generally a good idea that has the potential to save thousands of children lives and also boost the economy. At this moment, the statistics show that only 40% of the new born babies are breastfed for a period of six months, time that is extremely important for the young baby to grow healthy. If this percentage is to reach 50% by 2025, that would save an approximate of half of million lives and produce around $300 billion in the U.S economy over 10 years.
Benefits of breastfeeding
Experts who work in the pediatric centers state that the most common consequences when choosing not to breastfeed are: diarrhea, pneumonia, different kinds of allergies or even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Mothers who choose to naturally feed their newborn babies benefit also from another huge advantage: the improvement of the cognitive abilities of their children.
Head of the United Nations, Anthony Lake, highlights the importance of breastfeeding and considers that investing in this area will bring considerable benefits to the state’s economy and also will not fail mothers and their children. Not only investing in breastfeeding is necessary, but also normalizing the idea of it, because there are women who wish to breastfeed, but they don’t have the support they need. The first step in encouraging and providing this kind of support would be to offer better workplace breastfeeding policies as well as controlling the industry of breast milk substitutes.