Extra portion of milk: Breastfeeding is considered the best nutrition for babies
Breastfeeding is considered the best nutrition for an infant, because breast milk contains an optimal composition of all the nutrients that the child needs in the first months of life. Unfortunately, many mothers do not breastfeed their offspring long enough.
Best nutrition for infants
Breast milk is the natural food for infants. It contains all the nutrients a child needs in the first few months of life. The milk is "digestible, hygienically perfect and at the right temperature," the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) wrote in a message. Unfortunately, many mothers breastfeed their babies far too short.
Health benefits for children and mothers
Scientific studies have shown that breastfeeding is positive for the development of the child's immune system. According to studies, breastfeeding can also protect against allergies and reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
It is particularly important during the first six months of life. Breastfeeding has a positive impact on the intestinal flora of babies and also helps prevent diarrhea.
According to experts, mothers who are breastfeeding have a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer. In addition, a study has shown that breastfeeding protects mothers against cardiovascular diseases in the long term.
But while breastfeeding is so important, only about forty percent of all babies are breastfed exclusively in the first six months of their lives.
"No country in the world meets the recommended standards for breastfeeding," wrote the World Health Organization (WHO) in a statement.
Breastfeed babies, especially in the first six months of life
"Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life," said the head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"Breast milk is like a first vaccination for the child, it protects the baby from potentially fatal infections and gives him all the food it needs to survive and thrive."
Far too little is invested in breastfeeding worldwide.
In this country too, more would have to be done to show the population how important breastfeeding is.
"The demand that more has to be done for the health of women and families in Germany includes the possibility of breastfeeding, especially in the first months of a child's life," said Martina Klenk, President of the German Midwives Association, in a statement.
"And regardless of whether this happens in public or in private space."
Unfortunately, women repeatedly report negative experiences after breastfeeding in public.
According to the association, a study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) shows that breastfeeding is more positively received by the public the more information about the health benefits is known.
Breastfeeding women must be valued
A social climate in which breastfeeding women feel valued and accepted is just as important for breastfeeding success as individual, expert support, writes the BfR. Breastfeeding as normal is the goal.
But how breastfeeding friendly is Germany? The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has commissioned the "Healthy Living" network and the National Breastfeeding Commission to carry out the "Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly" (BBF) project in cooperation with the University of Yale for Germany.
An expert commission is examining, among other things, how breastfeeding friendly Germany is. One focus here is the analysis of how German media report on breastfeeding and to what extent and through which channels celebrities promote breastfeeding in a public awareness.
Based on the results, the expert commission then proposes measures to make the social climate in Germany more breastfeeding-friendly. (ad)