Breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding is a key component to sustainable development. Sustainable development preserves social, environmental, and economic structures by improving well-being of present and future generations.
Environment and Climate Change
Breastmilk is a natural, renewable food that contributes to a sustainable environment! The 3 top reasons are:
1. The production of breastmilk is delivered to the baby without pollution, packaging, or waste.
2. The production of milk formula contributes to Greenhouse Gases, while breastmilk does not.
3. Breastfeeding is a clean and green practice. NO electricity, fuel for transport, and carbon dioxide emissions is consumed through breastfeeding infants.
Nutrition, Food Security, and Poverty Reduction
Breastmilk is an affordable form of nutrition and a key way of reducing the effects of poverty.
1. In a scenario where famine and hunger strikes, food security is restored through breastfeeding for vulnerable babies.
2. Breastmilk combats malnutrition in children and reduces the risk of obesity and chronic diseases later in life.
3. Not breastfeeding is associated with economic losses of about $302 billion annually in healthcare and environmental issues (Source: Breastfeeding In the 21st Century).
Survival, Health, and Well-being
Breastfeeding positively impacts the development and health of children as they grow.
1. Optimal breastfeeding (exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding for two or more years) reduces the risk of breast cancer for mothers and chronic illnesses for children.
2. Breastfeeding provides the foundation for lifelong health and wellbeing for children and mothers.
Women’s Productivity and Employment
Mother’s milk is an import food resource which needs to be protected. In developing and developed countries, women face the lack of job security which can be combated by employers supporting mothers and breastfeeding!
1. Lactation rooms, breastfeeding breaks, and maternity leave increases breastfeeding rates and overall improves the wellbeing of the employee.
2. Paid maternity leaves decreases infant mortality rates.