A non-breastfed child is 14 times more likely to die in the first six months
than an exclusively breastfed child, according to The Lancet.
Breast milk gives a baby everything they need
and costs only what it takes to feed the mother.
"In summary, WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant's life. Thereafter, local, nutritious foods should be introduced, while breastfeeding continues for up to two years or beyond. Followup formula is therefore unnecessary. In addition, follow-up formula is not a suitable substitute for breast milk, due to its content."
WHO: Information concerning the use and marketing of follow-up formula - pdf, 165kb - 17 July 2013
See: Did you ever wonder what's in... ? Breastmilk - Formula - download pdf
Why it is important to share and act on this information
Babies who are breastfed are generally healthier and achieve optimal growth and development compared to those who are fed formula milk.
If the vast majority of babies were exclusively fed breastmilk in their first six months of life – meaning only breastmilk and no other liquids or solids, not even water – it is estimated that the lives of at least 1.2 million children would be saved every year. If children continue to be breastfed up to two years and beyond, the health and development of millions of children would be greatly improved.
Infants who are not breastfed are at an increased risk of illness that can compromise their growth and raise the risk of death or disability. Breastfed babies receive protection from illnesses through the mother's milk.
Breastfeeding is the natural and recommended way of feeding all infants, even when artificial feeding is affordable, clean water is available, and good hygienic conditions for preparing and feeding infant formula exist.
If a mother is HIV-positive, there is a risk that she can transmit HIV to her baby through breastfeeding. Counselling can help her carefully weigh the risks and make an informed decision on which feeding option is best for her baby and most manageable for her.
Almost every mother can breastfeed successfully. All mothers, particularly those who might lack the confidence to breastfeed, need the encouragement and practical support of the baby's father and their families, friends and relatives. Health workers, community workers, women's organizations and employers can also provide support.
Everyone has the right to information about the benefits of breastfeeding and the risks of artificial feeding. Governments have a responsibility to provide this information. Communities as well as media and other channels of communication can play a key role in promoting breastfeeding.
1-7 August 2016
In September 2015, the world's leaders committed to 17 goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity. Together, they form the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year's World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is Breastfeeding: a key to Sustainable Development. 2016 commemorates the start of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A broad approach using the sustainability theme is thus relevant and inclusive.
It will enable the breastfeeding movement (and beyond) to connect with a variety of development issues over the next 15 years (2030) for maximum impact. Breastfeeding is linked to the SDGs in several ways.
The WBW materials cover the main link areas between breastfeeding and the SDGs along 5 broad themes (1) nutrition/food security, 2) health, well-being and survival, 3) environment and climate change, 4) work productivity, empowerment, social protection,and 5) sustainable partnerships and rule of law.
Download Materials | Additional Resources
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Laying the Foundation for Combating Malnutrition in India
The importance of balanced nutrition and health
An initiative of HealthPhone
™, conducted under the aegis of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF, Aamir Khan and with support from Vodafone.
It is the World's Largest Programme to Battle Malnutrition amongst Mothers and Children
The objective of this nationwide campaign against malnutrition is to address issues of status of women, the care of pregnant mothers and children under two, breastfeeding and the importance of balanced nutrition and health. The focus is on women between 13 and 35 years of age and their family members.
The four Poshan videos are hosted on a dedicated WAP page iaphealthphone.org
and accessible to all Vodafone India subscribers on their mobile phones.
Vodafone India subscribers can also give a missed call on 1 800 120 8989 (toll-free) to receive a link to the WAP page via SMS.
|The Lancet Breastfeeding Series
- January 28, 2016
With a substantial development of research and findings for breastfeeding over the past three decades, we are now able to expand on the health benefits for both women and children across the globe. The two papers in this Series will describe past and current global trends of breastfeeding, its short and long-term health consequences for the mother and child, the impact of investment in breastfeeding, and the determinants of breastfeeding and the effectiveness of promotion interventions.
New Research Shows That Breastfeeding Matters Everywhere and Could Save Millions of Lives and Dollars
"Political commitment and investment in breastfeeding by governments, donors, employers and civil society is urgently needed to ensure the health of women and children and to shape a more sustainable future for all. UNICEF and the World Health Organization, in partnership with close to 20 organizations, are leading the charge to mobilize global action to raise political and financial investment to support breastfeeding. Together, we are working to remove barriers to breastfeeding and to give women the tools they need to make informed decisions to ensure their health and the health of their children for generations come."
Werner Schultink, Chief of Nutrition at UNICEF
Breastfeeding saves lives and it’s time for action
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding videos as a playlist - YouTube
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding video in Marathi
Breastfeeding Channel videos on HealthPhone
WHO: Promoting proper feeding for infants and young children
Facts for Life: Breastfeeding -
Why it is important •
All key messages •
Supporting information for key messages:
The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding. It aims to ensure that all maternities, whether free standing or in a hospital, become centers of breastfeeding support. Hospitals and maternity units set a powerful example for new mothers.
The "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" are the foundation of BFHI and summarize the maternity practices necessary to support breastfeeding. A maternity facility can be designated 'baby-friendly' when it does not accept free or low-cost breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles or teats, and has implemented these 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding.
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action [WABA]
WABA is a global network of organizations and individuals who believe breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers and who dedicate themselves to protect, promote and support this right. WABA acts on the Innocenti Declaration and works in liaison with UNICEF.
|21 Dangers of Infant Formula
Poster by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, July 2012
download pdf 2 pp. 4.0 MB
The poster shares information on the effects that Formula companies do not want you to know about. The evidence based references and sources of information are presented on the back of the poster.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
24 July, 2016