Model Penny Lancaster and TV Actress Zoe Lucker have both declared their support for Save the Children’s No Child Born to Die campaign.

Health on Female First

Health on Female First

It aims to get more health workers trained up in poorer countries around the world so that more mums have the support they need to help them breastfeed.

The campaign brings to the attention Save the Children’s Superfood for Babies report which reveals that 95 babies an hour – 830,000 a year – could be saved if new mums around the world breastfeed in the first hour after birth.

Zoe Lucker said: "I strongly support Save the Children's campaign because I understand how important breastfeeding is for your child's health."

"The idea of breastfeeding didn't necessarily come naturally to me. It was the first time in my life that my breasts became functional, which I found quite confusing. However, from the very first moment it felt like the most natural and right thing to do."

“I breastfed her for 8 weeks but I had to stop because I developed mastitis – at least she got what she needed in those first crucial weeks."

Penny Lancaster added: “I’m a big supporter of breastfeeding. I think every mum should give their baby the very best start in life that they possibly can. That’s why I’m supporting Save the Children’s No Child Born to Die campaign which aims to get more health workers trained up in poorer countries around the world so that more mums have the support they need to help them breastfeed.”

“I breastfed both of my children - Alastair for about 9 months and Aiden for 7 months. Rod was hugely supportive of me breastfeeding the boys, but when I finished breastfeeding my second, he made sure to tell me that my breasts were his again, haha!”

“I didn’t think too much about what my breasts would look like when I was breastfeeding. To me, it was all about giving my babies the very best start in life that I could.”

Superfood for Babies shows that if newborns receive colostrum – the mother’s first milk – within an hour of birth, it will kick start the child’s immune system, making them three times less likely to die. And, if the mother continues feeding for the next six months, then a child growing up in the developing world is up to 15 times less likely to die from killer diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Save the Children Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said: “Despite the benefits of breastfeeding being widely known in the developed world, and it being a free, natural way to protect a newborn baby, too little attention is being paid to help mums breastfeed in poorer countries.

The charity says four key factors are to blame:

· A lack of empowerment and education for women which means that some harmful traditional practices, which undermine mums breastfeeding their babies, are still rife. Instead of live-saving colostrum, in some places, newborn babies are fed coffee, shea butter or ash in their first hour of life.

· The severe shortages of midwives and of health workers in the developing world, which means that information on the benefits of breastfeeding is inadequate, and there is not enough support to help mums once they give birth.

· Lack of adequate maternity legislation which makes breastfeeding and returning to work a challenge. In reality most mothers living in developing countries do not have access to any paid maternity leave.

· Marketing practices by some breast milk substitute companies that can result in mothers believing that formula is the best way to feed their baby even if they are unable to afford it.

Femalefirst @Femalefirst_UK

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