Sustaining Breastfeeding for Environment (World Breastfeeding Week 1–7 August 2020)

Sustaining Breastfeeding for Environment (World Breastfeeding Week 1–7 August 2020)

Health of our planet is affected by the way babies are fed. Breastfeeding has positive impacts on both mother and child along with long-term health effects which sustain for lifetime. Safeguarding women’s and children’s right to breastfeeding and providing necessary support for women is also important for our environment. There are a few visible impacts that breastfeeding has on combating climate change such as reducing waste in home from breastmilk substitutes, reducing methane gas from cows that produce milk, reducing industrial waste and pollution from production of breastmilk substitutes, reducing fuel consumed to transport products to market, reducing use of energy to heat formula and sterilize equipment and reducing energy use and waste associated with ill health and deaths of children and mothers. These environmental impact of breastmilk substitutes is a responsibility for all of us not for mothers alone. There is need to provide enabling environments, supporting policies and changed attitudes that give women the freedom to choose to breastfeed. 

The advantages associated with breastmilk to our environment are it requires no advertising, packaging, or transport and results in no wastage or depletion of natural resources. No energy is wasted sterilizing bottles and refrigerating them. Breastmilk is the perfect temperature so there is no need to use energy to heat anything and water and detergent is not usually needed for washing bottles. In addition, breastmilk does not create pollution from the manufacturing and disposal of bottles, teats and cans. It is a renewable resource which produces minimal greenhouse gases and water footprint, contributing to local food and water security. Overall, we can conclude that breast milk is a naturally renewable resource, leaves zero ecological footprints, and provides long-term environmental benefits such as clean energy, saves water resources and zero waste. 

“Human milk is not skimmed, processed, pasteurized, stored, transported, repackaged, dried, reconstituted, sterilized, or wasted. It requires no fuel for heating, no refrigeration, and is always ready to serve at the right temperature. In short, it is the most environmentally friendly food available.” (Francis and Mulford 2000).”

Dr. Monika Rawat
Visiting Research Assistant
Qatar University, Qatar



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भारतीय संस्कृति में प्रकृति का महत्व एवं वर्तमान परिस्थिति

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