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Jordan Joins the World in Celebrating Breastfeeding Week
Jordan Joins the World in Celebrating Breastfeeding Week
Monday, 1 August 2022




  • Why is the period of pure breastfeeding in Jordanian families so short - less than a month, even among low-income families?!
  • According to the current prices in Jordanian pharmacies, 55 dinars per month is the average cost to a Jordanian family because of its resort to buying manufactured infant milk!
  • Anti-poverty activities should include a focus on the resort of low-income families to dependence on breast milk to feed their newborns.
  • There is a need to ensure that all health service sites adhere to the international code that prohibits the promotion of formula for infant formula or the distribution of free samples of infant formula and feeding bottles to mothers when they are in hospital maternity wards.
  • Preparing mothers to start breastfeeding immediately after birth, it must start early during the last months of pregnancy, and the newborn should not be separated from his/her mother after birth, but remains closely with her.


Monday 01/08/2022

The first week of August of each year marks the Breastfeeding Week, during which activities are held to remind families, the public, managers of health programs and anti-poverty programs of the great benefits that accrue to mothers and newborns, the family budget, the health system and the national economy when the newborn depends on breast milk for feeding only during the first six months of his/her life, and continue to breastfeed for at least the first year of his/her life.

The Higher Population Council confirmed in a press statement that the pure period of breastfeeding is very short in Jordan, where the average duration of pure breastfeeding is 0.9 months, and only a quarter of newborns (24%) at the age of 2-3 months are still in a state of pure breastfeeding based on milk. This percentage in Jordan is much lower than the regional average of 34%. Besides, the percentage of newborns dependent on breast milk only in Jordan drops to 11% among newborns aged (4-5 months).

The Higher Population Council indicated that there are other missed opportunities, due to the fact that breastfeeding is also a natural means of reproductive regulation. The short period of pure breastfeeding makes the period of menopause in the postpartum period short, and the chances of relying on this as a means to avoid early pregnancy after childbirth is an ineffective behavior. The term "LAM" is used to describe women who indicated the use of pure breastfeeding in the first six months of childbirth as a means of delaying the next pregnancy, and their percentage in Jordan is only 1.1%.

In contrary to international recommendations, the Higher Population Council pointed out that the data of the last Population and Family Health Survey showed that about 30% of births in Jordan did not exceed two years after the birth of their predecessors. This may be due to the short duration of pure breastfeeding, or to the lack of advice on the need to protect against pregnancy after childbirth using an effective method of birth control.

The Higher Population Council noted that breastfeeding is the best food for newborns and infants, as research has shown that adolescents and adults who have been pure breastfed are less likely to be overweight and obese, have shown an improvement in IQ test results. In addition, it helps avoid a third of respiratory infections, and reduces the risk of sudden infant deaths by up to more than a third.

In addition, breast milk contains all the nutrients that the child needs during the first six months, and a group of factors that protect the child, the most important of which are strengthening the immune system that helps the child to resist infection and disease, and the development of the eyes, brain, jaw and other body systems. It also reduces the risk of postpartum depression and diabetes among mothers, and also reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer later in life.

The World Bank estimates that there is a return of up to $35 for every $1 invested in promoting and protecting breastfeeding.

The World Breastfeeding Association, led by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, has called on countries, including Jordan, to take policy actions that focus on investing in providing expert breastfeeding advice to every woman during pregnancy visits, and training health care workers (midwives and nurses)  to provide expert advice to mothers and families in the field of ​​breastfeeding, partnership and cooperation with civil society, health professional associations and anti-poverty programs through building strong collaborative systems to provide appropriate advice, protect health care workers from the influence of marketing circles in baby food factories, and implement the Code of Banning Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, extending maternity leave, job protection for working mothers, and increasing the number of baby-friendly hospitals.