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Higher Death Risk for 77 Million Newborns Not Breastfed Within the First Hour of Life
August 22, 2016

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) published a press release in July 2016 on the risk of not breastfeeding within the first hour of life after birth. They report that 77 million newborns globally, or 1 in 2, are not put to the breast within the first hour after birth.

According to UNICEF, a baby who has not nursed within the first hour has a higher risk of infant mortality, a lower risk for exclusive breastfeeding, and the mother is at risk of a lower milk supply. In addition, the longer breastfeeding is delayed, the greater the likelihood of infant death within the first month of life. Because newborns account for nearly half of all deaths of children under 5 globally, breastfeeding in the first hour can substantially decrease the rate of early childhood mortality.

Globally, infants who are not breastfed have a 14 times increased risk of death compared to infants who are exclusively breastfed.

Based in UNICEF’s estimation, if all infants in the world were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, how many lives would be saved each year?

  1. 200,000
  2. 800,000
  3. 2 million
  4. 3.5 million

For the answer, click here