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WHO: Breastfeeding could save 1.3 million child lives

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posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 11:22 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - Teaching new mothers how to breastfeed could save 1.3 million children's lives every year, but many women get no help and give up trying, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Less than 40 percent of mothers worldwide breastfeed their infants exclusively in the first six months, as recommended by the WHO. Many abandon it because they don't know how to get their baby to latch on properly or suffer pain and discomfort.

"When it comes to doing it practically, they don't have the practical support," WHO expert Constanza Vallenas told a news briefing in Geneva, where the United Nations agency is based.

This is a problem in both rich and poor countries, she said, calling for more assistance in hospitals, health clinics and communities for new mothers who need information and help.

Pregnant women should also be made aware of the risks they face from both seasonal flu and the new H1N1 pandemic, the WHO said, calling as well for more attention to influenza symptoms in the vulnerable group.

Expectant mothers should get top priority for antiviral drugs like Tamiflu, ideally administered within 48 hours of the onset of illness, WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi told reporters.

"Pregnant women, when they get flu, are at risk and they should see a doctor," she said. "It adds to the risk and it is really essential for pregnant women to seek medication."

U.S. health experts have said that pregnant women should also be first to get vaccines against the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu, with caregivers for infants second.

The WHO recommends that babies start breastfeeding within one hour of their birth, and ingest only breast milk for the first six months, avoiding water and other drinks and foods.

This can give children vital nutrients and strengthen their immune system to fight diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia. Formula milk does not provide the same immunity and local water can be contaminated or unsafe in many parts of the world.

Raising to 90 percent the global breastfeeding rate for infants to six months would save an estimated 13 percent of the 10 million under-age-5 deaths a year, Vallenas said.

In a statement released to mark World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said it was also important that mothers in disaster zones be given the support they need to continue or restart breastfeeding.

"During emergencies, unsolicited or uncontrolled donations of breast milk substitutes may undermine breastfeeding and should be avoided," Chan said, arguing abandoning breastfeeding could put vulnerable child lives at extra risk. "The focus should be on active protection and support of breastfeeding."


I am truly at a loss on this one. I firmly believe that breastfeeding is the way to go when it comes to raising a child, but why would the WHO be saying this. Most of the thin gs they've been saying to do we've found to be contrary to the fact. Such as the vaccines for H1N1, we, on ATS, have a general concensus that they are BAD for us. But Breastfeeding is GOOD for us!
I offer two conclusions:
1.) They want mothers to breastfeed so that whatever they have in their body, whether from vaccines or other, is passed on to their children.
2.) A part of the WHO is actually good and does want children to be happy. (This would explain why it is covered by Reuters, but not other MSM like Fox, CNN, ABC, ect.)

Your thoughts?

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 11:28 AM
A lot isn't passed on.

Problem is that we have had several generations who didn't breastfeed. So now we don't know how to do it.

I had major issues, and couldn't do it, it broke my heart. And the hospital lactation consultant actually gave me bad advice, told me to force my child on. He immediately became resistent.

Not only that, the hospital was nothign but constant interruptions, 24/7. And the nursery was hounding me every 2 hours to feed. It was very nerve racking, and not a conducive environment to learn how to become a new mom.

[edit on 2-8-2009 by nixie_nox]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:34 PM
I had a horrible time trying to breastfeed too. The lactation specialists did their every best lesson to get my son to feed properly on the breast in my case. However, I became ill in the early weeks after my childs birth and was heartbroken to learn that the anti-biotics given to combat my illness were not deemed "safe" for lactation. My milk eventually ran out after months of attempting to pump for supply-demand. He has since been on a diet of pure formula.

It is a fact that what goes through the mother will find its way to the embryo. The good and the bad. Vaccines, drug abuse, viral infections, nutrients, calcium, iron etc. This is especially true through breast milk. Before an embryo reaches full maturity it has loaded itself with many of their mother's antibodies. This process of "passing along important nutrients and antibodies" continues through breast fed children after birth and in a healthy environment has been deemed very beneficial to development.

One merely needs to google the "benefits of breastfeeding", to find that years and lifetimes of research has gone in to answering this issue. Some medical practitioners will even go so far as to say "formula" is the mac-daddy of all junk food. Bovine milk not intended for infant consumption has been blamed for myriad of ails, colic, digestion, decreased bone density, higher than normal levels of lead, to name just a few. My own son had severe bouts with colic in his early months. Was it the formula?

In spite of all the negative attention formula receives by certain healthcare provider heretics---I personally remember being told formula was just as good for my baby as breast milk. Its a practice used by doctors I like to refer to as double speak. Double speak creates a lot of confusion in new/first time mothers like myself where illness or extreme circumstances prevents us from creating the proper nursing bond. I know I can't count how many nurses and medical professionals I heard use the statement that breastfeeding is best, but formula is just as good.

The benefits of breastmilk are to many to list. Unfortunately-unforeseen circumstances can stall even the staunchest proponents choice to do so for their child. Also unfortunately, some mothers fail to see beyond professional double speak. I for one am so happy to see WHO bringing attention to this matter. I believe WHO are very well intentioned to publish such information and am happy to see it. I think its part of positive interest to understand infant nutrition better and latest research trends espousing the numerous benefits of breast feeding will lend to more of this type of exposure. Sorry for the gigantic response. I had something to say
Great thread .


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