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Breastfeeding in low-resource settings: Not a “small matter”

published 29 August 2018

The evidence is clear – breastfeeding has positive health effects both for mother and child. In an editorial published in PLOS Medicine Professor Lars Åke Persson summarises some of the most striking reasons for babies to be breast-fed within the first hour, exclusively within the first six months and continued during the second year of life.

Health benefits include lower morbidity and mortality rates, as well as better neuro-cognitive functions. For mothers who breastfeed reduced risk of cancer is cited. Why then is breastfeeding not the social norm around the world? Professor Persson explains that an enabling environment, at societal level, within the health system, at the workplace and in families, is necessary for more babies to be breastfed.