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World Should Encourage, Support Breastfeeding

Huffington Post: Breastfeeding can save lives and boost the economy — but mothers need more support
Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director general for family, women’s, and children’s health, and vice chair of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…Reaching the global breastfeeding target will require rapid progress, but experience shows that rates can be improved dramatically and quickly. … This requires targeted interventions through education and health services, such as accurate information and breastfeeding support from health staff or peers. But beyond health interventions, a political and societal shift are needed. For example, adequate maternity protection policies, and breastfeeding-friendly workplaces and public spaces. Organizations should review and seek to continuously improve their policies and support systems … Governments also have a critical role — including in regulating the breast-milk substitutes industry. As a society, we have a duty to ensure that breastfeeding is encouraged, supported, and celebrated. The cost of not doing so in lives — and dollars — is far too high” (1/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.