Publication: Save the Children’s ‘Superfood for Babies'

Breastfeeding saves lives. It’s the closest thing there is to a ‘silver bullet’ in the fight against malnutrition and newborn deaths.

From right to left : Vilma Tyler, UNICEF - Bernadette Daelmans, WHO - Andres de Francisco, PMNCH (Chair), Elisabeth Dahlin, Save the Children Sweden and Simon Wright, Save the Children UK
From right to left : Vilma Tyler, UNICEF - Bernadette Daelmans, WHO - Andres de Francisco, PMNCH (Chair), Elisabeth Dahlin, Save the Children Sweden and Simon Wright, Save the Children UK

18 FEBRUARY 2013 – Through a series of launch events around the world, Save the Children released its new report « Superfood for Babies - How overcoming barriers to breastfeeding will save children’s lives ».

The report shares the latest evidence on global breastfeeding trends and ways in which the key barriers to breastfeeding can be overcome. It says that the lives of 95 babies could be saved every hour -¬‐ 830,000 a year -¬‐ if new mothers around the world breastfed immediately after giving birth. It also highlights questionable marketing practices adopted by some breast milk substitute companies active in emerging markets.

In Geneva, a global capital for nutrition policy, the occasion was marked by a roundtable which gathered together institutions and individuals who have a lead role on this issue. More than 50 people attended the event including missions, NGOs and UN agencies. Elisabeth Dahlin, the Secretary General from Save the Children Sweden who presented the report said she was astonished that so little progress was made to prevent newborn deaths. If mothers were to breastfeed within the first hour of birth, twenty-two percent of these deaths could be prevented.

The panelists from PMNCH, WHO and UNICEF welcomed the report for its synthesis of the problem and specific recommendations and actions at different levels that it outlines.

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