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Report: 3 in 5 newborns not breastfed within first hour

POSTED July 31, 2018

Report: 3 in 5 newborns not breastfed within first hour

How this delay affects a baby’s chance to thrive

Mother and child

Last year, an estimated 78-million newborns missed out on being breastfed within an hour of their birth, putting them at great risk for potentially life-threatening consequences, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

“Each year, millions of newborns miss out on the benefits of early breastfeeding and the reasons — all too often — are things we can change,” said Henrietta Fore, the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) executive director. “Mothers simply don’t receive enough support to breastfeed within those crucial minutes after birth, even from medical personnel at health facilities.”

Breastfeeding rates within the first hour of life are highest in Eastern and Southern Africa (65 percent) and lowest in East Asia and the Pacific (32 percent) notes the report, representing 76 countries. In some cultures, the nutrient-rich colostrum the mother initially produces is discarded and the baby is fed sugar water.

At Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, we support maternal-health projects that ensure baby and mom get the nutrition they need to thrive.

Learn more about how you can help support moms and their newborns through our gift catalogue. And, spread the word about the importance of Breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week (#WBW2018), from Aug. 1 to 7.

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