New medical evidence confirms that infants throughout the world benefit from breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding mothers in Asia
Mother preparing herself and then breastfeeding, in Trinidad
Formula preparation and picture, of bottle
Firewood collecting in Africa
Mother and child in hospital in Africa
Doctor in hospital with dehydrated baby
doctor with baby
Breastfeeding mothers, one Asian on African
Mother kissing baby
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Background: New medical evidence confirms that infants throughout the world benefit from breastfeeding.
Mothers anywhere can provide safe, clean milk for their infants. Human milk provides protection against many diseases and allergies and less obesity than any alternative form of food. Breast milk helps a baby digest and absorb calcium and iron. The result is better health throughout childhood. This happens in all parts of the world, and with all types of families.
In developing countries, any breastmilk substitute is an expensive luxury, especially when it is imported. Therefore it is often over-diluted. Clean water is not always available. Sterilization of bottles and nipples can be difficult to manage.
This is a particular problem in parts of the world where wood is scarce and fuel is hard to find. Mothers search for hours, leaving. It is time for them to care for their children.
When a weak infant formula solution is provided in an unsterilized bottle, many babies can get diarrhoea. A serious condition can result which will lead to dehydration.
Dehydration is possible in hospitals or even at home, but some babies suffer permanent damage.
By breastfeeding, a mother can guard her infant against disease, especially malnutrition and infection. UNICEF and WHO are urging health workers all over the world to support mothers to do the natural thing.
The proposed WHO Code of Marketing will help ensure that mothers are not over-sold on commercial products, while the natural advantages of breastfeeding are being actively explained and promoted.