Natural Family Planning with Breastfeeding

This is the first part of a very important message by WHO and UNICEF on breastfeeding which I provide in two parts.  Next week you will see that their message also includes natural birth spacing!  How rare in today’s contraceptive/abortifacient world culture!  Sheila

UNICEF and WHO World Breastfeeding Week message for 2016 (August 1-7)

There is a reason why virtually every country around the world observes World Breastfeeding Week every year.  Breastfeeding is one of the most effective—and cost-effective—ways to save and improve the lives of children everywhere, yielding lifelong health benefits for infants and their mothers.

And increasingly, it is clear that breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development. (their emphasis)  In fact, supporting breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments countries can make in the wellbeing of their citizens—and thus, in their own long-term strength.  In low-, middle- and high-income countries alike, the benefits for individuals, families and societies include ending preventable child deaths, improving maternal and child health, boosting educational attainment, and increasing productivity.  These are some of the conclusions of the recent series on breastfeeding in The Lancet, which argues that improving breastfeeding practices makes the world healthier, smarter, and more equal. (The Lancet, January 30, 2016)

Breastfeeding is one of the keys to reducing under-five mortality.  Increasing rates of breastfeeding to target levels could save the lives of 820,000 children under 5—87% of them infants 6 months old and younger—every year.  (emphasis added) This represents around 13% of all under-five child deaths annually.

Breastfeeding also improves long-them health, decreasing the risk of non-communicable diseases, including childhood asthma and obesity. It can reduce the change of diabetes and heart disease later in life.  And longer duration of breastfeeding protects health, helping reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers….

Breastfeeding is an essential part of a healthy early childhood—supporting both physical and cognitive development.  It is associated with higher cognitive ability, increased I.Q. scores and better learning and literacy outcomes—all of which can translate into increased productivity and earnings later in life….

Breastfeeding is a cost-effective way to increase human capital and stimulate economic growth.  Globally, the cost of lower cognitive ability associated with lack of breastfeeding amounts to about US$300 billion annually, representing 0.49% of global gross national incomes.  The health benefits associated with optimal breastfeeding could save billions of dollars in healthcare costs each year by greatly reducing hospital admissions for infectious diseases. (emphasis added)

Continued next week…
I omitted some material dealing with Sustainable Development Goals adopted by some world leaders in 2015 to “end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change by 2030.”  See the entire text.
Sheila Kippley

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