Infants who are breastfed have fewer illnesses and are better nourished than those who are fed other drinks and foods. It is estimated that 1.5 million infant lives would be saved, and the health and development of millions of others would be greatly improved, if exclusive breastfeeding took place in the first six months of life. ICN upholds the mother’s right to make an informed choice about infant feeding.
Support for mothers is essential. Nurses can provide emotional, informational, and practical support. They can make a significant contribution to the successful initiation of and continuation of breastfeeding, and provide new mothers with the confidence and reassurance needed to ensure successful breastfeeding. Nurses and national nurses associations have a responsibility to actively promote the provisions of the International Code of the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.
- ICN fact sheet on Maternal and Infant Nutrition
- ICN positions statements on Breastfeeding and Distribution and use of breast milk substitutes
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