10 Facts On Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. Generally, breastfeeding together with additional feedings help prevent malnutrition and can save approximately 1 Million child lives. Globally, less than 40% of infants under 6 months-of-age are breastfed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nourishment for infants and young children.

The Top 10 Facts On Breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeeding should begin within 1 hour of birth, it should be "on demand" (i.e. as often as the child wants). Try to avoid pacifiers and bottles.

  • Breast milk contains all the nutrients for healthy development containing antibodies that help prevent the infant from childhood illnesses.

  • Breastfeeding also benefits the mother: It has a 98% successful measurement of birth control for the first 6 months after labor, reduces risk of breast and ovarian cancer later in life, helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers obesity.

  • Besides the immediate benefits, children who were breastfed often have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as lower rates of obesity and type-2 diabetes.

  • Use it or loose it. Frequent breastfeeding maintains the breast milk supply.

  • HIV-infected mothers can pass the infection to their infant during pregnancy, delivery, and through breastfeeding. Antiretroviral (ARV) drug interventions to either the mother or HIV-exposed infant reduces the risk of transmission of HIV through breastfeeding.

  • Regulating breast-milk substitutes. (i.e. having the labels clearly state the benefits of breastfeeding vs formulas)

  • Breastfeeding has to be learned and support for mothers is essential. Many women encounter difficulties at the beginning including nipple pain and fear that there is not enough milk to sustain the baby are common.

  • For women that return to work finding the time to continue breastfeeding is difficult. Women need a safe, clean and private place in or near their work to continue breastfeeding.

  • Introduce complementary foods starting at 6 months, but do not abandon breastfeeding until the infant is comfortable with solid foods.

For more information about breastfeeding check out this amazing post: All About Breastfeeding