Global Breast Feeding Practices

The most comprehensive data on breast feeding come from the Demographic and Health Surveys conducted with support from the US Agency for International Development. These surveys are nationally representative and conducted throughout the developing world. In a number of countries, multiple surveys permit the analysis of trends. Overall, the data show that although the vast majority of women—more than 90% in all countries—initiate breast feeding, the duration of exclusive breast feeding is far less than the recommended 6 months (Table 2). In most countries, the duration of breast feeding is unchanged. Several countries are showing increases and in only one does there appear to be a decrease. However, concurrent with

Table 2 Trends in breast feeding practices

Country

Year

Initiation

Median duration

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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