USA threatens nations over world breastfeeding resolution, shocking health officials

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"It certainly is blatant and aggressive, and an attack on breastfeeding supports", Sterken said of the USA efforts to weaken the resolution.

Moms Rising, a group trying to achieve economic security for mothers in the USA, called the American government's move "stunning and shameful", adding that "We must do everything we can to advocate for public policies that support and empower breastfeeding moms".

Health advocates said that such actions by the United States were blackmail and deeply troubling as they hold the world hostage for the sake of corporations.

The booklet states that companies that have policies that support nursing mothers also gain from lower turnover rates and higher productivity. The Infant Nutrition Council of America has supported this non-partisan position since 2016, working with both the Obama and Trump administrations.

So why was the United States so reluctant to ratify a UN resolution on promoting breastfeeding worldwide and limiting advertisements for baby formula?

No formula to date is more nutritious than breast milk, but that's not itself the cause of the deaths. Mother cows have been heard calling for their stolen babies for days after they've been separated.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid.

In comparison, among the low- and middle-income nations, the UNICEF report showed that almost nine in 10 babies were breastfed, even in the countries with the lowest breastfeeding rates for that group. The baby formula industry's profits have stalled in the USA and other developed countries as more and more women have become aware of the health benefits of breast milk. It is not an ideal replacement, however.

Lactation is tricky terrain, particularly for women in the workplace, who must find the time and space to pump breast milk with certain frequency or risk their supply drying up.

Although formula feeding is a great option for mothers who can't breastfeed, current medical literature strongly supports breastfeeding for mothers and babies.

"Mothers require more than just encouragement to breastfeed", Palmquist said.

That tweet, according to Rundall, is "truly nonsense" because the resolution was merely about making sure that formula products on the market are quality ones, and that advertising boasting the benefits of unhealthy products are limited. Such companies have lobbied to have their product included among in the essential recommendations given by hospitals or health care personnel to new mothers.

In 2014, the World Health Organization challenged the global community to raise by 2025 the number of babies who were exclusively breastfed during their first six months by 50 percent. But that version lacked some of the specific language of the earlier draft that targeted the marketing practices of the breast milk-substitute industry, according to Elisabeth Sterken, national director of INFACT Canada, a nongovernmental organization that promotes infant and young child nutrition.

In 2007, almost 74 percent of USA women said they had ever breastfed, according to results from the CDC's National Immunization Survey. "Neither is the availability of infant formula", said Sullivan.

The Infant Nutrition Council of America and its members have always shared the goal of supporting and promoting the benefits of breastfeeding; however, many parents can not or choose not to breastfeed.