The Lancet published a series of health benefits of breastfeeding for both low and high income countries.
Researchers analysed 28 pieces of research, focusing on the effects that breastfeeding has on child mortality rates, respiratory infections and diarrhoea, as well as other health conditions.
The research also explored the effects of breastfeeding on a woman’s risk of temporary postnatal infertility, breast and ovarian cancers, type-2 diabetes and postpartum weight change.
Following the analysis, researchers concluded that breastfeeding had a strong and protective effect on child mortality in both low and high income countries, with a 36% reduction in sudden infant death.
Speaking about the research, the Royal College of Midwives says it proves further evidence that breastfeeding is the best method of providing nutrition for infants.
“This report underpins and reinforces why breastfeeding is the most appropriate method of providing nutrition for a baby. It also highlights the pressing need to promote and increase the uptake of breastfeeding in the UK and globally.
“It is one of the most important markers of an individual’s future health and well-being as it confers important health benefits. This is why health services need to make greater efforts to encourage new mothers to breastfeed and for longer. This can be facilitated through better support, considerate maternity leave and strengthening policies and legislative framework that enables women to breastfeed when out and about,” says Professional Policy Advisor at the RCM, Janet Fyle.
In the researcher’s notes, it claimed that women in high income countries breastfed their babies for a shorter duration in comparison to those living in low or middle income countries.
Read more about The Lancet research here.
Keep up to date with the latest news from MIDIRS by signing up to our e-newsletter. Sign-up