New Delhi: Breastfeeding is the most effective and inexpensive "life-safer" for newborns as well as their first immunisation and it supports the child`s ability to learn while helping prevent obesity and chronic diseases later in life, according to experts.Highlighting the importance of breastfeeding, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta today said, "There is no other single intervention that has such a high impact for babies and mothers as breastfeeding and which costs so little for governments. Breastfeeding is a baby’s first immunisation and the most effective and inexpensive life-saver ever."Starting breastfeeding in the first hour after birth can reduce the risk of new-born death by up to 22 per cent by averting deaths related to sepsis, pneumonia, diarrhoea and hypothermia. Children who are exclusively breastfed are 14 times more likely to survive, the first six months of life, than non-breastfed children, UNICEF stated.Breastfeeding also supports a child`s ability to learn and helps prevent obesity and chronic diseases later in life.
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