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Good for you, Mum and good for baby too

26 July 2002

World Breastfeeding Week, 1 - 7 August 2002

Good for you, Mum and good for baby too

'Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies' is the theme of this year's World Breastfeeding week to be held in 120 countries around the world, from
1-7 August.

Angela Baldwin, Plunket's general manager clinical services, says the week is a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the many benefits that mother and baby reap from breastfeeding.

"Breastfeeding is a wonderfully healthy and natural way for mums to develop a loving connection with their babies at the same time as protecting the baby's health and their own. The list of benefits goes on and on - and it's getting longer," says Angela Baldwin.

Science and medicine show that breastfeeding helps prevent common illnesses in babies, including diarrhoea, and infections of the ear and urinary tract. And it can help reduce a woman's risk of many diseases and some cancers like breast and ovarian cancer. An increase in New Zealand's breastfeeding rates may also help reduce our hospital admission rate and our nation's levels of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

"It is ideal for a mother to breastfeed for as long as possible as there is simply no better food for babies. It is clear that encouraging and supporting women to breastfeed is good for the whole of New Zealand.

"The mother's touch and the time she spends with her baby while breastfeeding are both important for the baby's mental health. Experts believe this connection with a loving caregiver can help children with learning and with getting on well with others.

"Feeling safe and loved when we are very young has benefits that carry right on through our lives and into adulthood," says Angela Baldwin.


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