It’s hard to reconcile the beautiful highlands of Guatemala, where I was in mid-January, with this stark fact: the child malnutrition rate here is the highest in the Western hemisphere. Roughly 5 out of every 10 Guatemalan children suffer from chronic malnutrition. All
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.
This week, we released our Child Development Index and the bottom line is: kids deserve a lot better. The Index ranks the best and worst places in the world to be a child based on education, health, and nutrition statistics.
While there is some good news in terms of education and child survival rates—33% more kids are in school now than in the 1990s and almost 5 million more kids surviving to age 5 per year—there is one part of the report that is really shocking. In the 21st century, we still have children in the world without enough to eat every day—and it’s gotten worse over the last decade, not better. The number of acutely malnourished children across the globe has actually risen since 2000. The situation is particularly