Breast-feeding woes: Mexico sees dramatic drop of moms nursing, raising concerns over health
Thursday, August 1, 2013
MEXICO CITY – Despite the well-known advantages to breast milk and vigorous campaigns around the world championing breast as best, Mexican mothers say the bottle is better.
In a dramatic decline over the past six years, today only one in seven mothers in Mexico breast-feeds exclusively in the first six months, the standard recommended by the World Health Organization. That leaves Mexico with nearly the lowest level of breast-feeding in Latin America.
Experts call it a public health crisis for a country where millions still live in extreme poverty, dirty water threatens the health of many families and education is poor. Mother’s milk is richer in nutrients and antibodies that protect newborns from infections.
Mexico has the highest infant mortality rate among the world’s 40 largest economies. Between 2005 and 2010, breast cancer increased twice as fast as Mexico’s female population, with some experts blaming declining rates of breast-feeding; studies show it cuts a woman’s risk of cancer by 50 per cent or more.
- Health Care