Breastfeeding Keeps Diseases Away

Breastfeeding Keeps Diseases AwayBreastfeeding Keeps Diseases Away

Breastfeeding has increased in the country by 4% over the past few years to reach 55%, said Ali Akbar Sayyari, deputy health minister at a function on the World Breastfeeding Week 2015.

About 36 million people globally lose their lives to non-communicable diseases annually while 18.5 million suffer from heart diseases, which can be prevented by breastfeeding in childhood, he said, IRNA reported.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to 7 in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies.

Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight off viruses and bacteria. It lowers a baby’s risk of developing asthma or allergies. In addition, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without infant formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea, Sayyari noted.

Organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, World Health Organization and UNICEF, WBW goal is to promote and support breastfeeding as it yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases such as pneumonia, and fostering growth and development.

This year’s WBW calls for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work.

Sayyari also called for empowering working mothers and to provide a supportive environment that encourages maternity leave and breastfeeding given that it prevents numerous problems in adulthood including type I and II diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and high blood pressure.

Iranian law grants a one-hour break for working mothers to breastfeed their babies, he said.

Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi and UNICEF Representative in Iran, Ezio Gianni Murzi, were present at the event.