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Breastfeeding – Saving Lives!

Published by Stylishmamas.

Date: 03/12/2016.

 

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Increased breastfeeding could prevent thousands of child deaths, study claims. As ITV’s news report earlier this year we look at why breastfeeding has more advantages than creating parental/child bonds and increased IQ - We often forget that it can have a far greater impact, even in developed countries!

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More than 800,000 child deaths could be prevented annually if more women around the world breastfed their babies, new research has found. Experts claimed near-universal breastfeeding could also prevent 20,000 deaths from breast cancer each year.


The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, also showed breastfeeding increased intelligence and there was some evidence it protected against obesity and diabetes. Scientists analysed data from 28 systematic reviews of previous research to show breastfeeding has a dramatic effect on life expectancy both for children and mothers. In high-income countries, breastfeeding reduced the risk of sudden infant death by more than a third. It also had the potential to prevent about half of all infant cases of diarrhea and a third of lung infections in low and middle-income countries.

 

The study revealed worldwide rates of breastfeeding were low, especially in high-income countries. In the UK, fewer than 1% of babies were breastfed up to their first birthday. In Ireland, the figure was 2% and 3% in Denmark.

 

Lead researcher Professor Cesar Victora, from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, said: There is a widespread misconception that breast milk can be replaced with artificial products without detrimental consequences. The decision not to breastfeed has major long-term negative effects on the health, nutrition and development of children and on women's health.
– Professor Cesar Victora

 

The above should be a stark reminder as to why it is our responsibility to promote breastfeeding where possible. In the UK and privileged countries, we lag behind developing nations for breastfeeding (as the chart below shows) but as we are all aware, here in the UK the very thing that breastfeeding can help combat is what is now most common in our health service (breast cancer, obesity and diabetes).

 

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Chart - Courtesy of BBC.

 

Of course, there are no guaranties that Moms and breastfed children will not develop the health issues that the study states it helps fight against but even if there is chance to give yourselves and your child the protection it may one day need while doing something nature intended, we here at Stylishmamas think it has to be worth a shot!

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