Early breastfeeding 'saves lives'

If all new mothers started breastfeeding their newborns immediately after birth, 830,000 lives could be saved a year, research has shown. Save the Children stressed the importance of breastfeeding within the first hour.

Victoria Beckham backs breastfeeding campaign

Celebrities Victoria Beckham, Myleene Klass and Donna Air have tweeted their support for the Save the Children breastfeeding campaign, they wrote:

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As a mother I know how crucial the first hour of a baby's life is. This is why I'm supporting @savechildrenuk #firsthour x vb

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As a mum,I know how crucial the first hour of a baby’s life is. This is why I’m supporting @savechildrenuk #firsthour http://t.co/VobvaJiL

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'Empowerment of women' is key for breastfeeding

Brendan Cox from Save the Children has said, that the empowerment of women is one of the main reasons, why women do not breast feed.

Speaking to Daybreak he said in many cases women are not allowed to make the decision, with the husband making the decision for them.

A report out today has highlighted the fact that fewer women are breastfeeding in developing countries.

Save the Children say that by feeding a child within the first hour of it being born, it can boost the baby's immune system and even "save lives".

Read: Breastfeeding in the first hour could save 830,000 lives

Calls for Government to encourage breastfeeding

The number of breastfeeding mothers in East Asia and the Pacific has fallen from 45% in 2006 to 29% in 2012.

Save the Children is calling on the UK Government to use its hunger summit and G8 presidency in June to help other donor countries step up their funding for nutrition.

The charity said that lives could be saved if mothers breastfed within the first hour after birth.

The world is at tipping point and we could be the generation to stop children dying from preventable disease and malnutrition.

This year's G8 - with the UK in the driving seat - is a once in a lifetime opportunity to focus effort on a final push to end hunger.

– Justin Forsyth, Save the Children chief executive

Warnings over global decline in breastfeeding

Save the Children is warning that global breastfeeding rates are falling, and that the lives of 95 babies every hour could be saved, if mothers breastfed in the first hour after birth.

It added that a child growing up in the developing world is less likely to die from pneumonia and diarrhoea if the mother continues feeding for the next six months.

The charity believes four factors are to blame for the decline in breastfeeding:

  • A lack of empowerment and education for women
  • Severe shortages of midwives and health workers in the developing world
  • Lack of adequate maternity legislation
  • Marketing practices by some breast milk substitute companies

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Breastfeeding in the first hour could save 830,000 lives

If all new mothers started breastfeeding their newborns immediately after birth, 830,000 lives a year could be saved, new research has shown.

A report from Save the Children has stressed the importance of breastfeeding within the first hour, kickstarting the immune system of the child, making them three times more likely to survive.

830,000 lives could be saved every year from breastfeeding within the first hour Credit: Save the Children/PA Wire

The charity said the progress made in reducing child mortality could be accelerated if mothers were encourage to breastfeed.

Global breastfeeding rates are declining across East Asia and some of Africa's countries such as Ethoiopia and Nigeria.