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Media Release: Press Release in Response to Chinese “Fake Formula”

April 23, 2003: The PR Department at LLLI sends along this press release that you can customize and send out to your local media, if you wish.

Press Release in Response to Chinese “fake formula”

For Immediate Release
Contact: (insert contact information here)

Mothers Can Choose to Breastfeed with Proper Information and Support

(Insert Group location) (April 2004) La Leche League of (insert city) was deeply saddened to read about the deaths of dozens of Chinese babies who were fed “fake” formula purchased by their impoverished mothers. What is, perhaps, even more tragic is that these deaths could have been prevented.

Most likely the mothers who purchased this “formula” were under the false impression that by doing so they were providing the best for their children. Because of the marketing of infant formula in developing countries, many mothers come to believe that feeding even properly manufactured formula is good for their babies even though they have no means of storing, preparing or purchasing this human milk substitute. These mothers are not alone in their misinterpretation of what is best for their children.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 1.5 million children die every year because they are not breastfed. They estimate that no more than 35% of infants worldwide are exclusively breastfed for the first four months of life. A cornerstone of WHO’s and UNICEF’s Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding is the aim that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. After six months it is recommended that breastfeeding be continued along with the introduction of locally available foods because of human milk’s ongoing nutritional and disease preventing properties.

While there may be any number of reasons why a woman chooses not to breastfeed, it would be invaluable for mothers to know that with the proper information and support they can breastfeed.

Pregnant mothers need to know that while breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned behavior.

Women in both affluent and developing countries, need to have information and support to breastfeed their babies. Since 1956, La Leche League International (LLLI) has been offering this information and support to mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. Mother-to-mother support groups now exist in over sixty countries. Their book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding has sold over two million copies. LLLI’s web site reaches millions of women a year. For more information about breastfeeding or a support group in your area visit LLLI’s web site at www.lalecheleague.org

LLL or (insert name of town) will be holding a meeting on (insert dates). Information on the benefits and techniques of breastfeeding will be presented. For further information please contact (insert contact information here.)

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