Support Safe Infant Feeding in Emergencies

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week!!  — Learn more at www.safelyfed.org

#WBW2016 #IYCFE #SafelyFed #helpmomsbreastfeed

‪#‎Breastfeeding‬ saves lives.

In emergencies, the most important action a mother can take to protect her baby is to breastfeed. When breastfeeding is not possible, infants and young children need skilled infant feeding support.
Donations of money are essential to ensuring that NGOs can provide exactly the kind of breastfeeding support or supplies, foods, and resources needed to safely feed infants.

Donations of formula often go unused, are wasted, or are distributed improperly, which can have grave consequences for infants’ survival in emergencies.

Learn more about how to support infant and young child feeding for refugee and migrant families. Visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/safelyfed/ (Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children).

Give today to a vetted organization that provides care for infant and young child feeding in emergencies in alignment with the World Health Organization standards. These include:

UNICEF http://www.unicef.org

Save the Children http://www.savethechildren.org

Nurture Project International http://nurtureprojectinternational.org

La Leche League Greece & Great Britain https://www.laleche.org.uk/donate

International Medical Corps https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/new/home

International Orthodox Christian Charities http://www.iocc.org

Emergency Nutrition Network http://www.ennonline.net

Children in Crisis

A video from the Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children group.

‪#‎SafelyFed‬ Refugee children in ‪#‎Idomeni‬ are in crisis. Learn how you can give donations of money to ensure that all infants – breastfed and non-breastfed – receive skilled support for safe nutrition in emergencies.

Visit www.safelyfed.org/donate

Infants and young children under 2 are especially vulnerable to illness, malnutrition, and death during humanitarian crises. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in emergency situations artificial feeding increases the risk of death by diarrhoeal by 1300% as compared to breastfed infants. A baby may die within days of the onset of diarrhoeal disease. The younger the baby, the greater the risks of artificial feeding.

In this emergency, the transit context introduces serious challenges to safer formula feeding. Mass donations of powder formula, bottles, and teats increases the risks of infant death by diarrhea and malnutrition. This is because where refugee families are throughout Greece, they do not have access to the potable water, sanitation, or the supplies needed to properly prepare formula or scrub and sterilize bottles and teats.

UNICEF, WHO, WFP, International Medical Corps, and Save the Children have called for breastfeeding support and outline conditions for use of breast milk substitutes: http://www.unicef.org/media/media_57962.html

When artificial feeding is required, ready-to-feed (UHT) formula is recommended for infants less than 6 months. Non-breastfed infants more than 6 months and toddlers may have UHT milk or yogurt, along with healthy, age-appropriate complementary foods. Cup feeding is more hygienic than bottle feeding.

Breastfed infants should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, and then breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible, up to two years and beyond. After 6 months breastfed infants may receive healthy, age-appropriate complementary foods. Relactation is possible for mothers who have stopped breastfeeding and wish to begin again. Cross-nursing (“wet nursing”) is recommended before offering breastmilk substitutes in emergencies. Formula should be used a last resort when all other options have been ruled out.

GIVE MONEY, NOT FORMULA OR BOTTLES to organizations providing infant and young child feeding aid. Donations of money allow them to purchase exactly the supplies needed, when needed, to deliver infant feeding support that does not put infants at further risk.

Learn about the IFE Core Group recommendations for supporting families with infants and young children in transit.

These recommendations have been translated into easy-to-use documents for aid workers and families: http://safelyfed.org/resources/