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Breastfeeding can't save lives today – or can it?

by Dr. Virginia Thorley, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: No
  • Origin: GOLD Lactation

Surely breastfeeding can't save lives today? What's unsafe about 'formula' feeding in a resource-rich region? These are common beliefs. Breastfeeding provides the infant's entire food needs for the first six months. The protection of life afforded by human milk at any age is important – everywhere. A resource-rich region can suddenly become resource-poor when a natural disaster, extreme weather or major civil upheaval strikes. Factors impacting the artificially-fed infant's food security are:
- dependence on transport of supplies from afar
- dependence on electricity or other fuel for boiling water, cleansing equipment, refrigeration
- dependence on unsafe water for reconstituting powdered 'formula' and hygienic preparation
- lack of support and privacy for mothers to relactate or access donor milk
- donation of 'formula' supplies – undermining breastfeeding

I shall now describe real experiences where breastfeeding saved the day and hypothetical scenarios based on fact.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Understand the importance of breastfeeding, anywhere
Objective 2: Understand that a even a resource-rich region becomes resource-poor in a natural disaster or other emergency
Objective 3: Identify at least three factors impacting food security of non-breastfed infants
Objective 4: Reflect on examples/cases to improve own practice
Objective 5:Add food security to the reasons for supporting mothers to breastfeed

Presentations: 28  |  Hours / CE Credits: 22.25  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks