News / Health

WHO Says Mothers Milk Is Best for Babies

The World Health Organization says breast-feeding is key to saving children's lives. During this year's World Breast-feeding Week, WHO and other health agencies are highlighting 10 steps to successful breast-feeding. The Week, which runs from August 1 to 7, is celebrated in more than 170 countries.

The World Health Organization describes breast milk as the ideal food for newborns and infants. It says breast milk is safe, gives babies the nutrients they need for health development and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses.

Bernadette Daelmans, a Medical Officer in WHO's Division for Newborn and Child Health and Development, says breast-feeding has many benefits, not only in the short-term, but also in the long-term for children's health.

"In the World Organization and UNICEF we estimate that if children were exclusively breast fed for six months and continued to breast feed for up to two years, with appropriate additional food for six months onwards, we could save 1.5 million children under five years of age out of the 8.8 million that we estimate to die currently every year," said Daelmans.

WHO says malnutrition is responsible for one-third of the nearly nine million deaths among children under age five every year. It says malnutrition can be a direct cause of death or cause fatal disease in young children.

Dr. Daelmans says more than two-thirds of these deaths occur during the first months of life and are often associated with inappropriate feeding practices such as bottle-feeding.

She says breast-feeding has many beneficial effects for children in both developing and developed countries. For instance, she says it can protect children against illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.

In addition, she says the benefits obtained through breast-feeding often carry on into adulthood.

"It has long term effects in reducing the mean level of blood pressure in adults. Adults who have been breast-fed have lower cholesterol levels," she said. "It has benefits for the mother for reducing her risk for ovarian cancer and breast cancer. And, it obviously also helps to reduce post-partum hemorrhage immediately after birth and bleeding. It reduces that. So, there is a whole range of benefits that apply to children universally, wherever they live."

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund have developed ten steps for health facilities to take towards ensuring successful breast-feeding. For instance, the measures call for helping mothers to begin breast-feeding within half an hour of birth and showing mothers how to breastfeed.

The measures encourage breast-feeding on demand and foster the establishment of breast-feeding support groups that mothers can join after they are discharged from hospital.

WHO says this 10-step checklist today is used by hospitals in more than 150 countries.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid