- If almost every mother breastfed her children it could prevent more than 800,000 child deaths a year, yet governments are failing to promote and support breastfeeding, with rates remaining far below international targets, new research has found.
- Children who are breastfed for longer have higher IQs, lower death rates and less risk of infection than those who are breastfed for shorter periods or not at all, the research found.
- Despite these proven benefits, however, only 37% of children aged six months and under in lower- and middle-income countries are exclusively breastfed.
- Women in poorer countries tend to breastfeed for longer than those in higher-income countries. Yet as income increases, the trend is away from breastfeeding towards substitute milk instead.