Study: Breastfeeding your child can save the economy of a country!

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A recent study says that breastfeeding your child can save the economy. Read on to know how

You must have heard and in many cases even experienced the various benefits of breastfeeding. Its ability to provide nutrition and immunity to the baby and initiate an everlasting bond between the mother and the child are just a few among others.

But did you know that by breastfeeding your child you are actually helping the economy?

A recent study published in The Lancet-Breastfeeding series suggests that you are.

The researchers behind the study have observed that breastfeeding your child improves his physical development with economic gains for families and individuals as well as at the national level.

The findings also highlight a few other interesting observations:

☛Nearly 20,000 breast cancer deaths are averted each year due to breastfeeding.
☛About 13 percent of all child deaths (aged below 5 years), which amounts to 8,20,000 worldwide could be prevented by breastfeeding your child.
☛The longer a child is breastfed, better is his academic performance. In addition, such children may also have increased long-term earnings and improved productivity.
☛For each of the first two years that a mother breastfeeds, she decreases her risk of developing invasive breast cancer by almost six percent. She also benefits from reduced ovarian cancer risk.

The study also observes that breastfeeding your child would reduce the treatment cost of common illnesses.

Dr. Ravinder Wattal, an experienced pediatrician from Dr. Wattal’s Clinic, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, spoke to "The mother produces a hormone during breastfeeding called oxytocin that helps strengthen the mother-baby bond and that makes breastfeeding an extremely beneficial activity," she says.

Global rates of breastfeeding

The rates of breastfeeding at a global level stand at 35.7 percent. This is despite the fact that international recommendations say that all children should be exclusively breastfed from their birth to six months of age.

In fact, last year Johnson & Johnson (J&J) started the ‘I pledge to breastfeed’ campaign where actress Sonali Kulkarni also participated. During the launch of the campaign, a report by UNICEF was released that stated that only 34 percent of Indian mothers breastfeed in the first hour.

The J&J report further elaborated how children who were breastfed in the first month were 14 times more likely to survive over those who are given nourishment in the form of formula or any other milk.

Dr. Cesar Victora, emeritus professor from the International Center for Equity in Health, Post-Graduate Programme in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, and Series co-lead reportedly said, "Breastfeeding is a powerful and unique intervention that benefits mothers and children, yet breastfeeding rates are not improving as we would like them to--and in some countries, are declining. We hope the scientific evidence amassed in this Series will help revert these negative trends and create a healthier society for everyone--mother, child, poor and rich."

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