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Superfood for Babies: the launch of Breastfeeding Saves Lives

What a day!  It hardly seems possible with all the activity that we only launched our breastfeeding report on Monday.

Nevertheless, it’s true – less than a week ago, Save the Children launched its report ‘Superfood for Babies: How overcoming the barriers to breastfeeding will save children’s lives’ with a huge concerted media push across the world.

Major media coverage

Here in the UK, the campaign and petition to Nestlé and Danone were an immediate success.

We had great media coverage: see BBC News and ITV’s Lorraine. Read the articles in the Mirror, the Guardian – Liz Ford and Zoe Williams – the Daily Record, Natasha Kaplinsky’s blog in the Huff Post and coverage of her on Loose Women. There was also been extensive coverage on Sky and Daybreak and BBC 5 live.

We trended on Twitter, became Mumsnet’s top ‘Discussion of the Day’ and looking at current sign up stats the campaign looks set to be one of our most popular, second only to Syria, which is amazing given how much more media coverage it had.

The campaign continues to generate unprecedented debate and discussion online. With bloggers weighing in on where they stand on our packaging ask, the Guardian and Telegraph published two pieces.

Also with @socialgoodmums producing a 24-hour blog-a-thon about breastfeeding in support of the campaign, we’re really gaining momentum in support of our ask.

A global campaign

The report and campaign were truly global. In coverage that followed the sun, from Australia to the US, and Vietnam to Nicaragua, resonating across 40 markets worldwide.

In Geneva, a roundtable discussion was held to help build global capital for nutrition policy. More than 50 people from permanent missions, NGOs and UN agencies attended the event, which featured speakers from the World Health Organization,  The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and UNICEF.

In Pakistan, Save the Children held a major media event, featuring campaign ambassadors endorsing the report’s findings as a precursor to sustained advocacy with the government.

On Tuesday, Save the Children India held a press conference where Dr Arun Gupta, member of the Prime Minister’s Commission on Nutrition Challenges, endorsed the report’s findings, saying “Existing laws in India dealing with the health of a mother and her child need to be fine-tuned to make authorities more responsible and responsive to this issue”.

Future events

As we look forward to the coming months, other events are planned in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sierra Leone, alongside other launch events in Brazil, Canada, China and Italy.

In the Philippines it will be launched ahead of the national elections in May. In Sierra Leone plans are in place for a government consultation in March, aiming to pressure lawmakers to implement the marketing code.

And in Vietnam, we’ll be using it to build on the successes of 2012, when the National Assembly voted on extension of maternity leave to six months and amended the legislation to make the rules regulating the advert of breast milk substitutes much more effective.

The report will continue to influence national policy-makers and opinion-formers for many months to come.

What you can do

There are a number of different ways that you can play your part in our push to make Danone and Nestlé put children’s health first:


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