Statement by Queen Rania, UNICEFís eminent advocate for children
Thereís nothing more natural, nothing more instinctive, and nothing more effective than breastfeeding. Protecting her baby is a motherís first instinct and a motherís milk is the most powerful vaccine there is against infectious and non-infectious disease.
That is why I am proud of UNICEFís efforts to raise awareness about the benefits of breast-feeding. As a mother of four, I know, firsthand, that breast milk is the best defense system and the best start in life I could have given my children.
Parents in the developing world have a right to this knowledge and to the support that they need to initiate and sustain breastfeeding. Exclusive breast-feeding provides their newborns with essential proteins and irreplaceable immunity, it decreases the risk of diarrhea and respiratory infections, and it offers growth and nutrition factors that enhance their babiesí health and overall odds for survival beyond their first year.
The fact is: breast-feeding can save lives. Exclusive breast-feeding for up to six months can reduce child mortality by 13 per cent. Early initiation within the first hour of birth can prevent 22 per cent of all neonatal deaths. These are not statistics any mother wants to gamble with.
Help us save lives. Join UNICEF and other partners on World Breast-feeding Week and help us spread the word to make exclusive breastfeeding an absolute priority.
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