World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
Breastfeeding promotes better health for mothers and children alike. Global economic costs of not breastfeeding are around US £341 billion annually and globally inadequate breastfeeding leads to preventable deaths, obesity and cognitive losses. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old.
Health Policy and Planning have published a new study on the cost of not breastfeeding (See Walters et al. 2019. The cost of not breastfeeding: global results from a new tool) which connects the dots between publicly available big data in a simple tool, (the Alive & Thrive Cost of Not Breastfeeding Tool), drawing a larger picture of global impact. While the data is not new, for the first time it is now available at country-level for over 100 countries around the world.
Funding statement: This research was supported by Alive & Thrive, a global nutrition initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Image credit: Giacomo Pirozzi