Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for newborns, and it’s beneficial for new moms too, report organizations worldwide that are hoping to increase rates of breastfeeding across the globe.
Despite the fact that breastfeeding mothers burn off calories, return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and reduce their risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and breast cancer, breastfeeding rates are declining worldwide.
In the Philippines, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III blames the country’s very low breastfeeding rate -- just 16 percent -- on the very successful campaign of breast milk substitutes.
Infant formula manufacturers spend millions of dollars to promote their products, and have led most mothers to falsely believe that formula is better than breast milk, he says.
Many Mothers Misinformed About Breastfeeding
Along with the strong advertising campaigns of infant-formula companies, misinformation has prompted many women to not breastfeed.
According to worldwide surveys, the most common reason why mothers said they didn’t breastfeed was that they didn’t have enough milk. Another common reason was that it would cause their breasts to sag. Both of these are myths.
In the United States, wealthier women who have received correct information about the benefits of breastfeeding are now more likely to breastfeed than lower income women.
In the Philippines, the wealthy are less likely to breastfeed than lower income women. The country is planning to intensify their efforts to encourage women to breastfeed for up to two years.
Inquirer.net August 5, 2007