Breastfeeding Around the World

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The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mothers exclusively breastfeed infants for their first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health, yet globally less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Chances are that if you’re reading this article, breastfeeding is not a matter of life or death for your child. However, in many poorer parts of the world where water is not clean, food may be scarce and formula expensive, breastfeeding can make a critical difference in children’s health, well-being and life expectancy. InCultureParent takes a look at the beauty of breastfeeding in pictures, together with facts and attitudes, surrounding breastfeeding globally.

23 COMMENTS

  1. What a lovely collection! I particularly like the one in Morrocco, showing that breatsfeeding is a normal sight in traditional muslim cultures in North Africa. In Algeria, there is a strong presence of artificial feeding. still people expect a baby to feed at the breast, and so ” discreet” breastfeeding in public is accepted without batting an eyelid.

  2. I absolutely love this series. Having had both kids in Denmark (where breastfeeding is common and publicly practiced), we recently moved to France with an infant baby. I was amazed to see the difference in attitude. Although so close, the behavior and attitude towards breastfeeding could not have been more contrary. Would love to see figures for France in this slideshow. I guess it doesn’t help that the 3 month maternity leave do not really fall in line with WHO’s recommendation of 6 months of breastfeeding….

  3. Now where are the gorgeous lucky bottle fed bubbas being fed and comforted by mummy AND daddy?!?

  4. Lovely pictures and good message. I remember seeing a really nice slogan on a bus in Scotland a few years ago, in an effort to promote a culture of breastfeeding and acceptance of breastfeeding in public:
    “There’s none fitter than a breastfed nipper”.

    With regards to the “ideal” of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding: note that some paediatricians are now (2012) advising mothers, on the basis of the most recent medical findings, that it is fine to introduce solids as early as 4 months — and that solids MUST be introduced by 6 months, for various reasons. As a parent it can be very confusing when there are these mixed messages: WGO says one thing, local paed says another. I think the bottom line is that one should not frown upon mothers who introduce solids at 4 or 5 months, while still breast and/or bottle feeding.

  5. […] Breastfeeding Around the World, InCulture Parent — A good look at breastfeeding exclusivity and duration throughout the world, with wonderful pictures.  Don’t miss the last photo! […]

  6. Love it! The last frame (toddlerville) is my favourite. My 18 month old son did the same and still does (occationally) at 2 1/2 years.
    My milk dried up when my first son was 9 months old but I am still breastfeeding my 15th month old with very little negative pressure to quit. Go Canada!

  7. I enjoyed your article a lot! I can not believe that I am in the 14% of women in the States. I imagine it has to do with being immigrant. I breastfed all my kids and I loved it. Even today my 3 yo snuggles in my arms like breastfeeding and says I need to smell mommy. It is a special connection that goes further than the nutrition.

  8. I loved reading this article and found it extremely interesting. I am new mother and am breast feeding my daughter who is almost 6 months old in the U.S. I know from personal experenice that I get a lot of weird looks from my grandparents ( the older generation in general) when I told them I wanted to breast feed and I plan to follow WHO guidelines and keep it part of her diet for 2 years. I have people tell me that’s disgusting, not natural, and my favorite ” your just going to ruin your boobs”. I cannot help but find it interesting people get so worked up over breast feeding when that’s the function of breast. Well anyways thanks for the great article!

  9. […] Peru, 97 percent of newborns are breastfed, according to LLLI. In Culture Parent reported that 69 percent of Peruvian children are breastfed exclusively from birth to five months, and out of these children, 95 percent breastfeed for an average of 20 […]

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