Mexico

In Mexico, breastfeeding impacts families, communities, and the economy.

There are serious health and economic consequences associated with not breastfeeding.

Globally, the World Health Assembly (WHA) has set a target to increase the exclusive breastfeeding rate to 50% by 2025. Mexico has made commitments and taken important steps towards this benchmark. For example, the exclusive breastfeeding rate for children under six months increased 12 percentage points from 19% to 31% between 2009 and 2015. More, however, must be done to reach the WHA target.

 

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Mexico facts

129 million (M)

$1+ trillion (T)

31%
The global goal: All countries reach an exclusive rate of 50% by 2025.
Mexico 31%
Global Goal: 50%
31%
50%
Annually, inadequate breastfeeding in Mexico results in:
2,000+
preventable child deaths.

When a child is not breastfed, that child is less likely to survive. He or she is more likely to contract life-threatening illnesses and be less able to fight off sicknesses.

1M+
cases of diarrhea and pneumonia.

Children who are not breastfed are more likely to drink unclean water (in formula) and have less developed immune systems. This means they are more prone to contracting diarrhea-causing pathogens and pneumonia. The effects can be life-long.

$843M+
in household costs.

When a child is not breastfed, families need to purchase breastmilk substitutes like formula, which is costly, especially for families in low-and middle- income countries.

$47M+
in health care system treatment costs.

When children are not breastfed, both children and mothers are more likely to get sick and need to seek out treatment. This results in significant treatment costs for health systems.

The human costs of not breastfeeding in Mexico

There are serious health consequences associated with not breastfeeding.

When children are not breastfed, they are at higher risk of illness and death. Later in life, mothers who do not breastfeed are more prone to develop life-altering and life-threatening cancers and Type II diabetes.

Impact of not breastfeeding on morbidity and mortality in:

 

Preventable cases Preventable Deaths
Diarrhea 1,302,188 496
Acute respiratory infections/pneumonia 72,953 1,864
Obesity 40,825 Not Available
Preventable cases Preventable Deaths
Breast cancer 3,115 729
Ovarian cancer 894 470
Type II diabetes 40,513 3,995
The economic costs of not breastfeeding in Mexico

There are serious economic consequences to not breastfeeding.

Currently, Mexico suffers economic losses because only 31% of children are exclusively breastfed. These economic losses are the result of:

  • Higher health systems costs, as children and mothers develop illnesses that could have been prevented by breastfeeding practices;
  • Lost productivity, as children who were not breastfed are less likely to fully develop and fully contribute to the economy, and;
  • Higher household expenditures, as families need to purchase breastmilk substitutes like formula when they do not breastfeed their children

Impact of not breastfeeding on:

 

In Mexico, health systems incur costs when treating illnesses that could have been prevented by breastfeeding.

Type II diabetes in mothers $12,510,348
Diarrhea in children $25,223,420
Acute respiratory infection/pneumonia in children $9,493,647
Total in USD $47,227,415
Total as a % of Gross National Income (GNI) 0.004%

When families do not breastfeed their children, they need to purchase formula. This results in the following household costs.

In USD $843,087,224
Total as a % of nominal wages 8.000%
Select a GDP growth rate

The health of an economy impacts a child’s earning potential. Put simply, the earning potential of a child living in a country with a low GDP will be smaller than that of a child living in a country with a high GDP. As GDP grows, a child’s lifetime earning potential grows. Yet, inadequate breastfeeding can limit a child’s development and earning potential.

See how different rates of GDP growth impact costs of not breastfeeding

Make a selection below:

Economic losses in Mexico due to inadequate breastfeeding when the country's GDP is growing at 0%

Currently, 31% of children are exclusively breastfed in Mexico. Explore the data below to see how the economic losses of inadequate breastfeeding at this rate change as the GDP grows more quickly or slowly.

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to preventable deaths.

Child mortality $306,052,112
Maternal mortality $41,313,301
Combined child and maternal mortality $347,365,413
Total as % GNI 0.028%

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to cognitive losses

Total in USD$2,140,309,436
As a % GNI0.174%

The total cost of inadequate breastfeeding (combined health system, mortality, and cognitive losses)

Total in USD$2,534,902,264
As a % GNI0.206%

Economic losses in Mexico due to inadequate breastfeeding when the country's GDP is growing at 3%

Currently, 31% of children are exclusively breastfed in Mexico. Explore the data below to see how the economic losses of inadequate breastfeeding at this rate change as the GDP grows more quickly or slowly.

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to preventable deaths.

Child mortality $1,019,518,826
Maternal mortality $49,186,866
Combined child and maternal mortality $1,068,705,692
Total as % GNI 0.087%

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to cognitive losses

Total in USD$7,129,785,021
As a % GNI0.578%

The total cost of inadequate breastfeeding (combined health system, mortality, and cognitive losses)

Total in USD$8,245,718,128
As a % GNI0.669%

Economic losses in Mexico due to inadequate breastfeeding when the country's GDP is growing at 5%

Currently, 31% of children are exclusively breastfed in Mexico. Explore the data below to see how the economic losses of inadequate breastfeeding at this rate change as the GDP grows more quickly or slowly.

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to preventable deaths.

Child mortality $2,437,897,508
Maternal mortality $55,270,942
Combined child and maternal mortality $2,493,168,451
Total as % GNI 0.202%

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to cognitive losses

Total in USD$17,048,910,411
As a % GNI1.383%

The total cost of inadequate breastfeeding (combined health system, mortality, and cognitive losses)

Total in USD$19,589,306,288
As a % GNI1.589%

Economic losses in Mexico due to inadequate breastfeeding when the country's GDP is growing at 7%

Currently, 31% of children are exclusively breastfed in Mexico. Explore the data below to see how the economic losses of inadequate breastfeeding at this rate change as the GDP grows more quickly or slowly.

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to preventable deaths.

Child mortality $6,124,378,209
Maternal mortality $62,119,478
Combined child and maternal mortality $6,186,497,687
Total as % GNI 0.502%

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to cognitive losses

Total in USD$42,829,518,109
As a % GNI3.473%

The total cost of inadequate breastfeeding (combined health system, mortality, and cognitive losses)

Total in USD$49,063,243,211
As a % GNI3.979%

Economic losses in Mexico due to inadequate breastfeeding when the country's GDP is growing at 10%

Currently, 31% of children are exclusively breastfed in Mexico. Explore the data below to see how the economic losses of inadequate breastfeeding at this rate change as the GDP grows more quickly or slowly.

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to preventable deaths.

Child mortality $26,167,433,009
Maternal mortality $74,032,440
Combined child and maternal mortality $26,241,465,449
Total as % GNI 2.128%

The cost of inadequate breastfeeding due to cognitive losses

Total in USD$182,996,298,991
As a % GNI14.841%

The total cost of inadequate breastfeeding (combined health system, mortality, and cognitive losses)

Total in USD$209,284,991,856
As a % GNI16.973%
Next steps in Mexico

For Mexico to thrive at the family, community, and national levels, breastfeeding rates and practices must improve.

Building and sustaining momentum around breastfeeding requires effective policy advocacy and social behavior change that combines interpersonal communications, mass media, and community-level programming. Reliable and timely data on rates and behaviors is critical to inform an approach that positions us to achieve global breastfeeding goals.

Tools & Resources: Global

This tool can be used to help inform policy actions, such as those recommended by the Global Breastfeeding Collective.

 
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