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Breastfeeding Can Fight Poverty

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Today is Blog Action Day. Across the country, and the world, bloggers are all writing posts on the topic of poverty. Through the power of the internet, people are sharing ideas and perspectives on a topic that affects both “developed” and “developing” countries.
So what does breastfeeding have to do with poverty? While there’s obviously a distinction between true poverty and economic hardship, there is an undeniable economic aspect to breastfeeding. To put it as basically as possible, breastfeeding is free. Formula costs money. Breastfeeding protects against a whole host of illnesses and diseases. As a result, breastfeeding can lead to fewer trips to the doctor (hopefully), and thus dollars saved for both an individual and society as a whole.
Here is a great quote I found on Breastfeeding123 from the late James P. Grant, past Executive Director of UNICEF:

Breastfeeding is a natural safety net against the worst effects of poverty. If a child survives the first month of life, the most dangerous period of childhood, then for the next 4 months or so, exclusive breastfeeding goes a long way towards cancelling out the health difference between being born into poverty or being born into affluence. It is almost as if breastfeeding takes the infant out of poverty for those few vital months in order to give the child a fairer start in life and compensate for the injustices of the world into which it was born.

In recognition of Blog Action Day, my fellow breastfeeding bloggers and I are joining in this effort. Here are links to their posts:
Breastfeeding 123: Five Damaging Myths About Breastfeeding and Poverty
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: How Breastfeeding Fights Poverty
Breastfeeding Mums: Lack of Knowledge Affects Breastfeeding Rates
Baby Fingers: An Ounce of Prevention