Nurturing the health and wealth of nations: the investment case for breastfeeding

A new analysis, Nurturing the Health and Wealth of Nations: The Investment Case for Breastfeeding, demonstrating that an annual investment of only $4.70 per newborn is required to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding among children under six months to 50 per cent by 2025. The analysis suggests that meeting this target could save the lives of 520,000 children under the age of five and potentially generate $300 billion in economic gains over 10 years, as a result of reduced illness and health care costs and increased productivity. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective – and cost effective – investments nations can make in the health of their youngest members and the future health of their economies and societies. The investment case shows that in five of the world’s largest emerging economies, namely China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria, the lack of investment in breastfeeding has resulted in an estimated 236,000 child deaths per year and $119 billion in economic losses.