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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Early Breastfeeding Saves Lives

By February 18, 2013

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Save the Children Breastfeeding Report

Save the Children has a new report out on breastfeeding. The report speaks heavily about the crucial hours immediately after birth, stating that we could save up to 830,000 lives per year if all newborns were able to benefit from colostrum in the immediate postpartum. Though we have many barriers, including "cultural and community pressures, the health worker shortage, lack of maternity legislation, and aggressive marketing of breast-milk substitutes."

While this is more critical for infants born in developing countries, the United States has it's own problems, including hospital routines that often make it difficult for moms and babies to be together in the first hours. One of the ways to tell if your hospital encourages immediate skin to skin and breastfeeding is to see if they have achieved a Baby Friendly designation by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. It is also important to note that some hospitals are working towards this designation, and while they may not have obtained it yet this step is beging done routinely.

Save the Children is asking that you sign a petition to have Secretary of State John Kerry to renew the 1,000 Call to Action. They also have a neat video by Isla Fisher in Brazil. The breast milk banks at every hospital are really impressive!

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