Breast Feeding Recommendations

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) recommend exclusive breast feeding for 6 months and continued breast feeding together with provision of safe, appropriate, and hygienically prepared complementary foods until 2 years of age or beyond. The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding also recommends exclusive breast feeding for 6 months. Breast feeding is defined as exclusive if breast milk is the sole source of infant nutrition with no other liquids (including water) or food given, although medicinal and/or vitamin drops are permitted. Partial or mixed breast-feeding is used to describe infants who are not exclusively breast-fed. In a comprehensive review, WHO provided the scientific underpinnings of the recommended duration of exclusive breast feeding and noted that infants who were exclusively breast fed for 6 months experienced less morbidity from gastrointestinal infection than those who were exclusively breast fed for only 3 or 4 months. Also, exclusive breast feeding for 6 months, as opposed to only 3 or 4 months, resulted in no measurable deficits in growth among infants from either developing or developed countries.

The public health challenge is to support women to follow global breast feeding recommendations so as to ensure the healthiest start in life for all the world's children. Adherence to the recommended

Infant feeding behaviors

Proximate determinants

Intermediate determinants

Maternal choices

Underlying determinants

Opportunities to act on these choices

Infant feeding informa social support during and pos

tion and physical and pregnancy, childbirth, tpartum

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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