Breastfeeding helps raise healthy kids and grow stronger families

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Mother breastfeeds her baby. Photo: UNICEF Philippines/2013/Kent Page

Breastfeeding is one of the simplest, smartest, and most cost-effective ways to raise healthy children and grow stronger families.

Anthony Lake, the Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, shared the message for World Breastfeeding Week which starts on 1 August.

The Week highlights the vital role the practice plays in the health and lives of children.

The theme of this year's celebration underscores the crucial link between breastfeeding and the achievement of the UN anti-poverty goals or MDGs.

According to UNICEF, immediate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth could prevent one in five deaths.

It reduces the risk of malnourishment in early childhood and the risk of obesity later in life. Breastfeeding also helps prevent stunting and supports healthy brain development.

However, fewer than half the world's newborns benefit from the practice and even fewer are exclusively breastfed for six months.

More mothers need to be encouraged to breastfeed, says UNICEF, not only at the community level, but also at the global level.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’09”

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