Suboptimal Breastfeeding Kills Over 1 Million Infants A Year

Suboptimal Breastfeeding Kills Over 1 Million Infants A Year

A recent review published in the journal Archives of Disease In Childhood titled, "Marketing breast milk substitutes: problems and perils throughout the world," revealed a disturbing statistic:

Currently, suboptimal breastfeeding is associated with over a million deaths each year and 10% of the global disease burden in children

The review also highlighted an embarrassing fact of US history:

On 21 May 1981 the WHO International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes (hereafter referred to as the Code) was passed by 118 votes to 1, the US casting the sole negative vote. The Code arose out of concern that the dramatic increase in mortality, malnutrition and diarrhoea in very young infants in the developing world was associated with aggressive marketing of formula. The Code prohibited any advertising of baby formula, bottles or teats and gifts to mothers or 'bribery' of health workers.[1]

The International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes, which the US thwarted the global consensus on, established an international health policy framework for breastfeeding promotion, as well as recommending restrictions on the marketing of infant formula.

Could the lack of US support and implementation for breastfeeding initiatives such as this be a major factor in why our nation, 30 years later, has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the developed world (29th), tying Slovakia, but lagging behind Cuba?[2]

Presently, less than 5% of U.S. infants are born in "Baby-Friendly" hospitals, "a global designation that indicates best practices in maternity care to support breastfeeding mothers," according to the CDC’s website.[3]  This is one reason why only 14.8% of infants born in the US are exclusively breastfed at 6 months, and only 35.% at 3 months. Conversely, 25.4% are never breastfed, with 24.5% of breastfed infants receiving formula before 2 days. [4]

According to statistics from 2010, the United States and Western Europe account for 33% of the global infant formula market, which consists of 2,260,000,000 lbs of product worth 11.5 billion US dollars. [5]

And here is a major point in need of differentiation: is the aforementioned global burden of infant mortality associated solely with a lack of breastfeeding, or, rather, does it not also reveal the potential lethality of the milk substitutes being provided and promoted?  

We have already investigated some rather disturbing problems with common infant formulas on the market, including so-called "USDA organic" formula which contain highly toxic chemicals advertised as "nutrients," in three previous articles: 1) Why Is Pesticide Used As An Ingredient In Infant Formula?  2) Chemicals As "Nutrients" In "USDA Organic" Infant Formula  3) Infant Formula For Disaster. Clearly, considering the research, infant formula is not benign. If you would like to view the first-hand studies on over 50 adverse health effects associated with infant formula consumption, visit our infant formula page.

Over 70 years ago, Dr. Cicely Williams, a British pediatrician who worked in poverty-stricken areas of Africa and Asia, penned these words:

If your lives were embittered as mine is, by seeing day after day this massacre of the innocents by unsuitable feeding, then I believe you would feel as I do that misguided propaganda on infant feeding should be punished as the most criminal form of sedition, and that those deaths should be regarded as murder

In her book "Milk and Murder," Dr. Cicely was one of the first physicians to draw attention to the corporate take-over of breastfeeding through its shameless, and deadly promotion of infant formula as a substitute even when medically unnecessary.

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Epidural



I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding. I am currently breastfeeding my first child, my eleven-month old daughter. I like the article, except one sentence. How in the world does receiving an epidural reduce the likelihood of breastfeeding success. I recieved an epidural during childbirth, and still breastfed my daughter minutes after she was born. There is nothing wrong with pain relief.

Epidural



And epidural *can* reduce the chance of breast feeding success because its a drug that goes through your blood, therefore going through the baby's body too. It can effect the baby in a negative way and interrupt the natural insticts all babies are born with. That's not to say that *every* baby will have trouble breast feeding because of an epidural. It just makes it more likely. Any drug you put into your body during labor can have negative effects on the baby. Labor and birth is a complex system of biological triggers and hormones that all work together to make everything happen like it should. The huge overuse of drugs we use during labor today negatively affects baby/mom bonding, baby alertness, breastfeeding and more. Even just an epidural is unnatural and can have negative effects on the baby and can be dangerous to the mom too. There's nothing wrong with becoming informed on the dangers of labor drugs, including pain killers. 

Epidural



When inquiring about the effects of pain relief, I was told in the hospital that it would have no negative effects on the baby.

Epidural



It can cause low apgar scores and a whole list of other negative effects on newborns. Also it can cause a fluctuation in the baby's heart rate while in the womb which could lead to a c-section. Mind you an epidural is an expensive procedure dependant upon an anesthesiologist. I can't remember how much one can be paid for administering one but it is a hefty bit of money.

 

During my own labor, almost two years ago, the anesthesiologist tried to badger me into an epidural. I refused and he became livid, his face turned red and he began to raise his voice as he told me about how painful my contractions will become and it would be too late. I told him that I didn't think it would hurt because a woman is designed to birth naturally and he stormed out. A few minutes later another person came in to talk to me about pain management as he stood outside of the door talking about how difficult I was to the doctor. That same doctor came in to tell me that I would need a c-section and became livid when I wouldn't sign any forms. about 12 hours later I gave birth naturally to a little baby girl that what small and early. She had two PERFECT apgar scores even though she was about 5 weeks and 3 days early, she latched perfectly which shocked some of the nurses who then asked me if my epidural bothered me much. I told them that I didn't have one. One nurse came in to visit me and said most early babies have "problems" because of epidurals. She was proud that I stuck to my guns.

Smart to take a stand



Good for you taking a stand and walking into the whole process knowledgeable! So few of us free thinkers are out there anymore. Like sheep to the slaughter are most birthing women. I have to bite my tongue everytime I hear someone say that they "had" to have a cesarean. I know the well rehearsed script of had an epidural, had pitocin, and just couldn't progress...ahhgg!

I am a nurse and could never work L&D cause I would get fired for telling the OB's off!

By the way, had both my babies at home with midwives; breastfed both, one for over a year, the second for 2.5 years. Vaccines for the first, who had a severe reaction that I later learned was the result of a hot lot that had killed 11 babies that year; she's Ok now and has never gotten her children poisoned...I mean vaccinated. Second baby, now 26, never had shots and has been extremely healthy all of his life.  (I had waivers for all of the schools he attended over the years.)

If you vaccinate, I hope you are searching for the truth about the dangers of the vaccine vs the actually diseases.

 

Cesarean



Bite your tongue or don't. I don't care. My baby was breech. I had planned my home birth for 9 beautiful months. I tried EVERYTHING to get him to turn. Exercises, yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, hypnosis, journaling, homeopathy and finally an ECV. I even had them try a second ECV when they placed the epidural for my cesarean. No one in my area would give me the home birth my son and I deserved because he was breech. So I guess I did have a choice. Drive for hours to reach one of two doctors who would deliver a breech naturally (without going into labor before we got there), deliver at home with a very inexperienced midwife who thought she was up for it or deliver on my own at home with no help and hope for the best. Since neither of my highly experienced midwives wanted to take on the risks of a home breech birth, the only real option I had was to go to the hospital, hope for a sucessful version so I could go back home or stay for the dreaded cesarean. Well, the version was unsuccessful and I was taken in for a cesarean. It was a horrible, terrifying experience with a beautiful result. I have a happy, healthy, exclusively breastfed baby boy and a disgusting scar that reminds me that things don't always go your way no matter how much you plan. So before you go casting your judgment on every woman who has had a cesarean, just remember that you obviously haven't done everything perfectly, either. And those of us who were denied the ability to choose our perfect birth plan will not suffer fools like you silently. So you can bite your tongue but I won't bite mine. And after your vaccine experience, it sounds like you should be the last one casting stones.

Epidural



That is awesome. However, my baby also had perfect apgar scores and no problems with latching.

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