21% Of Children In Wealthy Countries Have Never Been Breastfed
Over 1 in 5 babies in wealthy countries have never been breastfed.
That's compared to just 4% in low income countries, according to a new report by the World Health Organisation and Unicef.
The study also found that 60% of babies aren't breastfed in the first hour of their life, putting them at a higher risk of death and disease.
The report notes that newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive. Even a delay of a few hours after birth could pose life-threatening consequences
While the report acknowledges that some women cannot breastfeed, it says most women can do so if given the right support.
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says 'Breastfeeding gives children the best possible start in life. We must urgently scale up support to mothers – be it from family members, health care workers, employers and governments, so they can give their children the start they deserve.'
The report comes ahead of World Breastfeeding week which kicks off tomorrow.