Presentation Information

Dr. Virginia Thorley

Breastfeeding can't save lives today – or can it?

  • Speaker: Dr. Virginia Thorley , PhD, IBCLC, FILCA
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

Surely breastfeeding can't save lives today? What's unsafe about 'formula' feeding in a resource-rich region? These are common beliefs. Breastfeeding provides the infant's entire food needs for the first six months. The protection of life afforded by human milk at any age is important – everywhere. A resource-rich region can suddenly become resource-poor when a natural disaster, extreme weather or major civil upheaval strikes. Factors impacting the artificially-fed infant's food security are:
- dependence on transport of supplies from afar
- dependence on electricity or other fuel for boiling water, cleansing equipment, refrigeration
- dependence on unsafe water for reconstituting powdered 'formula' and hygienic preparation
- lack of support and privacy for mothers to relactate or access donor milk
- donation of 'formula' supplies – undermining breastfeeding

I shall now describe real experiences where breastfeeding saved the day and hypothetical scenarios based on fact.