Midwives and nurses play a vital role in protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding worldwide. Skilled breastfeeding support from midwives and nurses helps prevent childhood infections and mortality, while boosting cognitive development and decreasing rates of obesity, diabetes and maternal and child cancers. Bonding and attachment are intrinsic to the breastfeeding relationship and foster mental and emotional health and development for both mother and child. Universal breastfeeding could prevent 823,000 child deaths and 20,000 maternal deaths each year and spur significant economic savings.
This advocacy brief, published during World Breastfeeding Week 2021, explores how midwives and nurses can protect, promote and support breastfeeding, key messages, key facts and a call to action. The brief was developed by the Global Breastfeeding Collective in collaboration with the Council of International Neonatal Nurses, the International Confederation of Midwives, and BEST Services of Ireland.