Breastfeeding: A smart investment

Breastfeeding is a vital part of providing every child with the healthiest start to life. It is a baby’s first vaccine and the best source of nutrition, and can bolster brain development.

Breastfeeding also nurtures national economies. Increased rates of breastfeeding can improve a country’s prosperity by lowering healthcare costs and producing stronger, more able workforces.

But breastfeeding is not just a one woman job. It requires encouragement and support from skilled counsellors, family members, health care providers, employers, policymakers and others.

Led by UNICEF and WHO, the Global Breastfeeding Collective is a partnership of more than 20 prominent international agencies calling on donors, policy makers and civil society to increase investment in breastfeeding worldwide.

By investing US$570 million a year for the next 10 years, governments, donors and partners can help raise the rate of exclusive breastfeeding to at least 50 per cent.

>> Read more about the Global Breastfeeding Collective

Infographic: Improved rates of breastfeedng lead to...

Call to action

As part of the Global Breastfeeding Collective, UNICEF joins the call for increased financing and better implementation of policies, programmes and interventions to provide mothers the support they need to breastfeed.

Governments can take seven actions to drive progress on breastfeeding and raise the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding to at least 50 per cent by 2025:

Explore the data

The Global Breastfeeding Collective has developed a country scorecard to track progress on seven policy actions and on the state of breastfeeding practices within countries. Each action has a progress indicator and target – to be met by 2030 – which serve as a call for action for policymakers worldwide to make breastfeeding support a collective national priority.

>> Explore country profiles on the breastfeeding scorecard

Breastfeeding advocacy briefs

Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding

Investing in breastfeeding can save children's lives