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The Five Principles

Breastfeeding is a Human Right!

  • Mothers and babies form an inseparable biological and social unit; the health and nutrition of one group cannot be divorced from the other.
  • It is a child’s right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health
  • Women have the right to proper nutrition and full and accurate information to decide how to feed their children
  • Women and children have the right to safe and supportive environment for breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is Healthy for Babies!

  • Breastmilk is the complete food for infants. Exclusive breastfeeding meets all the nutritional needs of a baby for the first six months and continue to be a source for nutrition and protection with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years of age or beyond
  • Breastfeeding fosters optimal growth and development of a baby’s brain, immune system, and general physiology and is a vital factor in preventing common illnesses.
  • Special fatty acids in breastmilk lead to increased intelligence quotients (IQs) and better visual acuity

Breastfeeding Empowers Women!

  • Breastfeeding is a physiologic continuation of pregnancy and childbirth, and helps a mother to recover from her childbirth. Exclusive breastfeeding boosts a mother’s immune system, help delay a new pregnancy and reduces the insulin needs of diabetic mothers, and in the long term, helps protect a mother from breast and ovarian cancers and brittle bones
  • Breastfeeding is an act of strength, power and pleasure for women by being in control of their own body and increasing their confidence in their ability to meet the needs of their infants
  • Breastfeeding encourages women’s self-reliance by reducing their dependence on medical professionals and challenges the interest of the baby food industry
  • Breastfeeding challenges the view of the breast as sexual object
  • Breastfeeding encourages solidarity and cooperation among women at the household, community, national and international level

Breastfeeding is the Best Investment!

  • Breastfeeding contributes to household food security and saves unnecessary purchase of breastmilk substitutes, feeding equipment and medical care
  • Breastfeeding saves on time caring for a sick child and preparing for bottle-feeding
  • Breastfeeding saves on cost of birth control methods, menstruation supplies and medical care for mothers
  • Employers get greater productivity, more loyalty and less absenteeism among workers with young infants
  • Nations save foreign exchange by not having to import breastmilk substitutes

Breastfeeding is Nature’s Way!

  • Breastfeeding is a natural and renewable resource - there is no substitute for breastmilk!
  • Breastfeeding causes no pollution and is the best example of how humanity can sustain itself through provision of the first and most complete food for humans
  • Breastfeeding protects the environment by reducing ecological damage by reduced production, distribution and disposal of breastmilk substitutes and other related products

Main Page | About WABA | Preamble | The Charter | Resources | Comments | Contact Us

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)
PO Box 1200, 10850 Penang, Malaysia • Tel: 604-6584 816 • Fax: 604-657 2655
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