Breast milk for young infants protect children from future illnesses

In Lesotho, a common cultural practice is to wait until a newborn’s umbilical cord falls off to begin breastfeeding. When Mamorena Namane gave birth, she fed her child only water for the first seven days of his life. She noticed that her son was frequently ill and later learned that not beginning breastfeeding immediately could have put her baby at risk.

Breast milk is the healthiest and safest food for infants in the first six months because it gives them critical nutrients, antibodies, and fluids to help decrease their risk of illness and infection, including diarrheal disease. USAID’s Infant and Young Child Nutrition Project, implemented by PATH, is working to raise awareness among families and communities about healthy and safe feeding practices for young children so that mothers learn how to protect their babies and young children from illness.

This important information is currently spreading throughout the community, strengthening support for early breastfeeding to keep all Lesotho’s children safe and healthy.

Contributed by PATH