Study: That's why breastfeeding is so important

On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week, the National Breastfeeding Commission at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is pointing out two new research projects on breastfeeding in Germany.

Two research projects are examining the positive aspects of breastfeeding. It has long been known that breast milk promotes the development of the child and better protects against infections. A large-scale study now wants to collect comprehensive data on the frequency of breastfeeding and on factors influencing breastfeeding behavior and the nutrition of infants.

Breast milk is the natural food for infants: easy to digest, hygienically perfect and at the right temperature. Under the motto "Support breastfeeding - together!", This year's World Breastfeeding Week from October 2 to 8, 2017 calls for more support for breastfeeding women in our society. On this occasion, the National Breastfeeding Commission at the BfR points out two new research projects on breastfeeding in Germany. In the internationally connected project "Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly" (BBF), the current status of breastfeeding support in Germany is comprehensively analyzed for the first time. One of the eight fields of action of this project examines the importance of “breastfeeding” in the German media. In addition to this project, a follow-up project to the nationwide “SuSe” study (“Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition”) carried out 20 years ago is also being launched by the National Breastfeeding Commission. The large-scale study "SuSe II" collects comprehensive data on the frequency of breastfeeding as well as influencing factors on breastfeeding behavior and on the nutrition of infants.

The participants in this year's World Breastfeeding Week point out that a social climate in which breastfeeding women feel valued and accepted is as essential to breastfeeding success as individual, expert support. Whether prominent actresses, singers, athletes or politicians - they can all share their own breastfeeding experiences in public, express their appreciation for breastfeeding women and thus be a role model for many mothers. Breastfeeding as normal is the common goal.

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.

Furthermore, the follow-up project of the “SuSe” study carried out in 1997/1998, which was proposed by the National Breastfeeding Commission, recently started. "SuSe II" is intended to show whether and how breastfeeding and infant feeding have developed in Germany since then. About 170 maternity clinics and 1500 mothers are interviewed. The two-year study is carried out by the Research Department for Child Nutrition (FKE) at the University Children's Clinic in Bochum and funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The client is the German Nutrition Society (DGE). The research results are the basis for health and nutritional measures and are intended to facilitate practical, professional advice to young families on breastfeeding and feeding babies.

Author and source information

Video: Benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby. Kaiser Permanente (January 2022).