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Babies who are breastfed are generally healthier and achieve optimal growth and development compared to those who are fed formula milk.

UNICEF, WHO and WABA along with the scientific community strongly recommend initiating breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.

Evidence shows that early initiation can prevent 22% of all deaths among babies below one month in developing countries.

If the vast majority of babies were exclusively fed breastmilk in their first six months of life -- meaning only breastmilk and no other liquids or solids, not even water -- it is estimated that the lives of at least 1.2 million children would be saved every year. If children continue to be breastfed up to two years and beyond, the health and development of millions of children would be greatly improved.

Infants who are not breastfed are at an increased risk of illness that can compromise their growth and raise the risk of death or disability. Breastfed babies receive protection from illnesses through the mother's milk.

Produced by:
UNICEF, India, unicef.org/india
HealthPhone™ healthphone.org and
The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust motherchildtrust.org

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