We celebrate, until August 7, the World Breastfeeding Week and that is why we remember, in this graphic way, the benefits that this diet provides to babies, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The breast milk is needed since the first hour of life, something that is not done with three of every five babies born in the world, according to a joint report by the UN agency for children (UNICEF) and the World Organization Health ( WHO ).
In total, these organizations estimate that in 2017 about 78 million newborns waited more than an hour to be breastfed after birth.
“When it comes to initiating breastfeeding, it is essential to do it on time. In many countries, it can become a matter of life and death, “Unicef executive director Henrietta H. Fore said in a statement.
The report highlights that newborns who drink breast milk in their first hour of life are much more likely to survive and have fewer health problems throughout their lives.
Research cited by Unicef and the WHO point out that newborns who started breastfeeding between two and 23 hours after birth were 33 percent more likely to die than those who did in the first hour.
For those who waited at least one day, that risk more than doubled, they explain.
The report of UNICEF and WHO analyzes the situation on a global scale, although it does not have data from Western Europe or from the United States and Canada.
In total, approximately 42% of children born in the world are breastfed in their first hour of life, a slight increase from the 37% recorded in 2005.
The percentages vary from an average of 35% in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East to one of 65% in East and South Africa.
According to the report, the reasons that explain the delay in the beginning of breastfeeding are several and include widespread practices in some countries such as discarding colostrum and feeding the baby with different liquids at first.
It also influences, according to UN agencies, the increase in the number of cesarean sections by choice and the custom of separating the mother and newborn that is followed in some hospitals.