The following blog first appeared on The Huffington Post.
Last year, Time magazine’s “Are You Mom Enough?” cover practically shouted “Scandal! Women breastfeeding too long!”
The unforgettable image stirred up controversy and I’m sure it sold magazines. But are moms and kids any better off?
Now, imagine funneling all that outrage and punditry into something that really helped mothers and their babies when it came to breastfeeding — especially in the developing world where it can literally save lives.
The real scandal is not breastfeeding late, but that too many moms don’t get the support needed to breastfeed early — or to keep breastfeeding, should they want to.
In our new report, “Superfood for Babies,” Save the Children estimates that 830,000 babies could be saved every year if they were breastfed in the first hour of life. The colostrum, or first milk, provides a powerful shot of antibodies that can stave off deadly disease. And immediate breastfeeding more often leads to exclusive breastfeeding for six months, which can save even more lives.