In January 2016 the prestigious Lancet journal published a series on breastfeeding. You can access the articles for free (links below) but the biggest take home message from the work was this:
“Increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels for infants and young children could save over 800,000 children’s lives a year worldwide, equivalent to 13% of all deaths in children under two, and prevent an extra 20000 deaths from breast cancer every year.”
Eight hundred thousand lives. The majority of those lives will be in developing countries where there is little access to safe water, sanitation or sterilising equipment (or indeed formula) but research from developed countries still consistently shows the protection breastfeeding offers babies.
The 20,000 deaths from breast cancer are not limited to developing countries. Breastfeeding really is an effective way of protecting the health of mothers and babies and therefore, as a society we need to do what we can to protect breastfeeding
You can access the Lancet articles below:
There are also a number of very informative blogs written on the Lancet series