Health facilities are vital in promoting good breastfeeding practices, says UNICEF

In World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF and its partners are asking health professionals to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their children.

“Breastmilk is the best food a baby can have and breastfeeding gives a child the best possible start in life,” said Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF.

The information that mothers receive from healthcare providers exerts a strong influence on their attitudes to breastfeeding. Healthcare professionals can play a vital role in encouraging new mothers to breastfeed their newborns.

While the benefits for children are beyond question, the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding is still only around 37 per cent. UNICEF is working with Governments and partners to increase support and encouragement for breastfeeding mothers, including by health workers, counsellors, mother-to-mother support groups, employers, relief workers in emergencies, legislators, community social networks and families. A number of countries, including some of the world’s least developed countries, have shown that significant progress is possible.

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