The cost of not breastfeeding: global results from a new tool

Health Policy and Planning
Volume 34, Issue 6, July 2019


Original Articles
The cost of not breastfeeding: global results from a new tool
Dylan D Walters, Linh T H Phan, Roger Mathisen
Health Policy and Planning, Volume 34, Issue 6, July 2019, Pages 407–417,
Aggregating these costs, the total global economic losses are estimated to be US$341.3 billion, or 0.70% of global gross national income. While the aim of the tool is to capture the majority of the costs, the estimates are likely to be conservative since economic costs of increased household caregiving time (mainly borne by women), and treatment costs related to other diseases attributable to not breastfeeding according to recommendations are not included in the analysis. This study illustrates the substantial costs of not breastfeeding, and potential economic benefits that could be generated by government and development partners’ investments in scaling up effective breastfeeding promotion and support strategies.