Global progress on breastfeeding "stalled"

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Women at work need a supportive environment to breastfeed. That's why World Breastfeeding Week 2015 focuses on empowering women to breastfeed at work. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-3645/NESBITT

An effort to increase the number of newborns who are breastfed has stalled across the world, according to two UN agencies.

The UN set a global target of increasing breastfeeding rates for children under six months of age to at least 50 per cent by 2025.

Ana Carmo reports

In a statement to mark World Breastfeeding Week, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said that globally only 38 per cent of infants are breastfed during the first six months of life.

They added that while breastfeeding rates have increased in all regions of the world, global progress towards the 50 per cent target has stalled.

Research has shown that infants who were breastfed for at least one year stay in school longer, score higher on intelligence tests and earn more as adults than those who were breastfed for only a month.

The agencies said that governments should make breastfeeding a priority in national development plans and should work with communities and families to promote its benefits.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 44"

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