Only 4 in 10 babies in Latin America and the Caribbean are breastfed, warns UNICEF

United Nations Children’s Fund (unicef) warned on Friday that only 4 in 10 babies under six months in Latin America and the Caribbean, or 43 percent of the total, are exclusively breastfed, and urged governments and companies to guarantee workplace safety. breastfeeding.

Furthermore, as revealed in a statement by UNICEF, only 48% of boys and girls aged 12 to 23 months in the region are breastfedcompared with the world average of 65%.

“Unfortunately, in Latin America and the Caribbean, “Most babies under six months are not exclusively breastfed,” said UNICEF Regional Director Garry Conille, lamenting that, as a result, they would not be able to “prevent all forms of malnutrition and Promote healthy development”. It’s a child.”

“Continuing on this path we will miss the Sustainable Development Goal of 70% exclusive breastfeeding by 2030,” he stressed.

For UNICEF, several reason One of the factors hindering this practice in the region is the difficulty of making breastfeeding and work life compatible.

it also identified support policy Home care agencies in the region do not provide the necessary support for nursing mothers.

Breastfeeding, pregnancy and challenges

Only 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean guarantee a minimum 14-week quarantine period, according to a UNICEF study birth permit Recommended by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and reached 18 weeks in only 6 countries.

It also shows that the challenges faced by mothers breastfeeding their babies are also evident in: Private Sector.

So a survey by UNICEF and DeloitteEmployers offer an average of 13 weeks of paid parental leave to full-time workers, according to a survey of 305 companies in the region.

about Paternity leaveThe analysis shows that the average guarantee period for large enterprises is 11 days, while that for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is around nine days.

While 68 percent of large companies have lactation rooms for nursing mothers, only 29 percent of SMEs consulted have such facilities.

In addition to its importance for health, UNICEF believes that breastfeeding also: Economic impact It has been estimated that “every US$1 invested in promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding yields US$35 in long-term economic benefits.”

this “Smart Investment”According to UNICEF, it will reduce the financial burden on the health system by reducing childhood diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia.

“Breastfeeding is essential for the health and development of children and mothers”Cornela said.

In this sense, and on the occasion world breastfeeding weekUNICEF reiterates its call on governments, public agencies and the private sector to ensure environments that support breastfeeding for all mothers in paid work, including those in the informal sector or on temporary contracts.

UNICEF said these were “urgent issues” aimed at ensuring women were able to breastfeed if they wanted, as “more than 500 million working women lack basic maternity protection; No support.”

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