lack of breastfeeding = dead babies

According to Ugandan officials, as many as 4,000 Ugandan babies die each and every day because THEY ARE NOT BREASTFED.


Alan said...

And it's not just in the Third World either. Formula feeders blow a gasket whenever I point this out (because they like to think the mortality risk is only because of unclean water supplies and therefore not anything they need worry about), but look at what a BYU study found:


Forste's study also explains that breastfeeding is just as important to infant mortality as is low birth weight.

"The encouragement of breastfeeding needs to be a priority for health care providers," Forste said.

"If physicians and other health care workers can successively increase the percentage of black infants being breastfed, the infant mortality gap between blacks and whites should close," she said.

The researchers couched this in terms of race, perhaps to buffer themselves against a firestorm of controversy, but there's a clear conclusion here that has nothing to do with race or ethnicity: if you choose not to breastfeed your children, you are rolling the dice with their lives (not to mention their health and development).

It was also interesting in the survey to see that in Western states, the rate of breastfeeding was almost four times as high as elsewhere in the U.S. I've seen similar disparities in terms of circumcision rates as well. I had already been wishing I could move out to the Pacific NW (but I can't because my ex-wife wants to stay here in the Midwest, and I went and got all attached to my kids and can't bear to be that far away from them); these data just accentuate that wish.

P.S. Congrats on the wedding!

Anonymous said...

4000 a day? Seems high. That's 1.46 million a year. According to unicef there were only 1.4 million births there in 2004.

Don't get me wrong. I would guess that thousands die each year, just not 1.46 million.

Anonymous said...

My sense is that they are dying for a lot of reasons, perhaps not having enough food, but that is not the whole story.