Why breastmilk is still the best

Photo from Breastfeeding Philippines/Nurturers of the Earth (with permission).

Science holds breastmilk as the best nourishment for children.

1. Breastmilk works like a baby’s first vaccine, protecting infants from potentially deadly diseases and giving them all the nourishment they need to survive and thrive.

2. Optimal breastfeeding could have the single largest impact on child mortality than any preventive intervention. Prestigious medical journal The Lancet estimates that reaching global targets for breastfeeding can prevent 823,000 child deaths per year.

3. Inadequate breastfeeding leads to diarrhea and pneumonia – the two leading causes of childhood death worldwide. Supporting mothers to achieve proper breastfeeding may cut 50% of diarrhea episodes and a third of respiratory infections.

4. Breastfeeding reduces risk of childhood obesity and diabetes.

5. Breastfeeding is a natural form of contraception, protecting the mother’s reproductive health.

6. Breastfeeding lowers risk of breast and ovarian cancers for mothers. Lancet estimates optimal breastfeeding can prevent up to 20,000 breast cancer deaths.

7. Breastfeeding plays a critical role in brain development and cognitive capacity. The Lancet reports lack of breastfeeding is associated with 2.6 loss in IQ scores.

8. Further studies show non-breastfed children had significantly lower IQ scores and smaller brains overall. ()

Read also: Optimal breastfeeding not only results in savings but in healthier, more intelligent babies too

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