Briefing note on breastfeeding

9 October 2015

Concern endeavours to foster a breastfeeding-friendly environment in all the communities in which we work. Our aim is to ensure mothers are informed and feel supported and ideally are more likely to decide to breastfeed and to succeed in doing so.

Kisa Ngiumba (33), Care Volunteer, with Aida Jugo (43), breastfeeding mother in Tanzania. Photo: Martha Maguire.
Kisa Ngiumba (33), Care Volunteer, with Aida Jugo (43), breastfeeding mother in Tanzania. Photo: Martha Maguire.

Concern believes that decisions regarding breastfeeding must rest entirely with an infant’s mother.  We respect the choices made by mothers including: whether to breastfeed at all, whether to do so in combination with formula feeding, and how long to breastfeed for. These decisions are each influenced by the unique circumstances surrounding a mother and her baby. 

In the context of the developing world or disasters, however, the promotion of breastfeeding can be a critical life-saving intervention, where contamination of artificial milks or infant formulas due to unclean water and poor hygiene conditions, for example, can quickly lead to illness and death in infants. This makes promotion of breastfeeding even more critical in the contexts in which Concern works.

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