Organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), this year’s World Breastfeeding Week – from August 1 to 7 – is themed the “Foundation of Life”.
“The 823,000 child deaths, 20,000 maternal deaths, and $302 billion in economic losses each year are stark reminders of the current reality,” a statement by WABA reads. “All of these, and more, could be prevented by scaling up breastfeeding.”
Here are three important facts about breastfeeding, according to WABA:
1. It prevents malnutrition in all of its forms
- “In low- and medium-income countries, babies who were breastfed had a lower risk of death in their first year, compared with babies who were never breastfed.”
- “It is estimated that breastfeeding reduces the risk of overweight and obesity by about compared to formula feeding.”
2. It ensures food security, even in times of crisis
- “Globally, 815 million people are chronically food-insecure and malnourished and the vast majority (489 million) live in countries affected by conflict.”
- “The global infant formula market is predicted to reach sales of almost $70.6billion by 2019.”
- “More than 4000 litters of water are needed to produce just 1 kg of infant formula powder.”
3. It breaks the cycle of poverty
- “1 in 5 people in developing regions still live on less than $1.90 a day.”
- “Breastfeeding is one of the best investments in global health. Every $1 invested in breastfeeding generates $35 in economic returns.”
To take action to support breastfeeding around the world, click here.