WHO calls to support breastfeeding mothers

01-08-2013 02:34 PM

Ammon News - AMMAN (Petra) – Marking the World Breastfeeding Week 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for more support for breastfeeding mothers.

Breast milk gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide, the organization said in a report, a copy of which was received by Petra.

The report added that only 37 countries out of 199 have passed laws reflecting all the recommendations of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

Mothers are often inundated with incorrect and biased information both directly, through advertising, health claims, information packs and sales representatives, and indirectly through the public health system, the report noted. "The distribution of ‘educational materials’ on breastfeeding produced by manufacturers of infant formula has a negative impact on exclusive breastfeeding, especially in case of mothers of first-born children and those with less formal education." According to the organization, breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children and is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival.

In this regard, Dr Carmen Casanovas, a breastfeeding expert with WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, said that nearly all mothers are physically able to breastfeed and will do so if they have accurate information and support.

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