HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Singapore or Virtually from your home or work.

5th Edition of

Singapore Nursing Research Conference

March 24-26, 2025 | Singapore

Nursing 2022

Joanna Koch

Speaker at Singapore Nursing Research Conference 2022 - Joanna Koch
La Leche League, Switzerland
Title: The Importance of Breastfeeding


The lack of breastfeeding has a huge impact on Health and the Environment - destroying the environment and causing lifelong health costs and problems for babies and their mothers. And why? Because Formula milk destroys our environment, causing massive manufacturing, transport, delivery and huge waste. Health Professionals are often unaware of the importance or effect of breastfeeding. They do not always understand that breastfed babies gain less weight and therefore they recommend formula milk should be given to ensure more weight gain. But the addition of formula milk can lead to many health problems, obesity, ect. lowering the advantage of breast milk. Health professionals, hospitals, midwives etc. must be fully aware of the utmost need for breastfeeding, helping mothers to start and continue instead of recommending formula milk. Yet sadly many professionals do not recognise this and do not instruct or advise their patients accordingly, And often medical or health problems then stop breastfeeding. If a Health Professional is married to a breastfeeding wife this is always advised to his patients. And usually those who work with young children, realise they have been breastfed as they are more confident, easy to play or talk with, and they feel strong enough to depart from their parents in a play group, Nursery School, or hospital. Where HIV AIDS has killed young mothers and formula milk is not always available, grandmothers have been asked to re-lactate and save the children (this means restarting breastfeeding after many years). Breastfeeding helps space babies by suppressing mother’s fertility and is widely experienced throughout the world. It is very important in areas where resources are scarce. Breastfeeding is an effective form of contraception. Another important issue is the First Thousand Days of Life-from Conception to the 2nd Birthday. During this time babies should be receiving breast milk to help their proper growth, brain and emotional development, confidence in life and health. It ensures good health for the rest of their lives. Breastfeeding saves mothers from developing cancer later in their lives. Breastfeeding is an important issue for the young, but sadly not always shared by their relatives although they may be suffering from formula milk - the destructive environment and climate change. The lack of breastfeeding has a huge impact on the Young. In 1981 the Int. Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes was adopted by the WHO. Although 79% have adopted the Code many are limited and there are many loopholes resulting from industry interference. Marketing is forecast to rise more than 30% in five years by 2026. The protection of breastfeeding and complimentary feeding through the full implementation of this International Code in every country is imperative. Commercial efforts to replace, limit or displace breastfeeding can be described as a form of ecocide which means mass damage and ecosystem destruction. In 1991 WHO and UNICEF launched the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative - following the Innocenti Declaration of 1990. This is a global effort to implement practices that Protect, Promote and Support Breastfeeding. And can be helped with their “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”. Take Away Notes: • Breastfeeding provides the best of life long health to the baby • Breastfeeding saves the mother from developing breast or vaginal cancer • Breastfeeding costs far less than Formula Milk • Breastfeeding saves the Environment and Climate Change • Breastfeeding is a major component of the First Thousand Days of Life


Joanna Koch was born and brought up in the UK and in 1960 married a German and came to live in Switzerland. In 1973 we were given Swiss Nationality. Since 1975 we live in Kilchberg, which is next door to Zurich. 1966 our first daughter was born, the second daughter in 1969 and our son in 1975. All three were breastfed and just after the first daughter was born, I learnt about La Leche League here in Switzerland. Then I joined La Leche League and became an Advisor. We held meetings in our house every month to help and encourage mothers with their babies and show them the best way and how to breastfeed. We started “Family Matters” back in the 90ies which was a small booklet and then became an email. It helped so many mothers and families. I still represent La Leche League Switzerland. La Leche League International started back in the 1950ies in Chicago and is now all over the world – helping breastfeeding in most countries. I am connected with WHO and the UN, helped to start the Alliance for Health Promotion in 2015, and am a member of the NGO CSW Association with its head office in Geneva and connected with the UN, and I also represent Solar Cookers International. Many families need help, so we do our best. Breastfeeding saves our world!