In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, ICN continues to uphold the mother’s right to make an informed choice about infant feeding. We consider that breast milk is the food of choice for infants and that, as a general principle, exclusive breastfeeding should be protected, promoted and supported for the duration of six months as a global public health recommendation. This includes providing information, counselling and guidance to all HIV infected mothers about the risks and benefits of feeding options most suitable for their situation, in line in with those recommended in the UNICEF/UNAIDS/WHO guidelines (Read more…)
Breastfeeding has an extraordinary range of benefits (UNICEF):
- it has profound impact on a child’s survival, health, nutrition and development;
- breast milk provides all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals an infant needs for growth for the first six months, and no other liquids or food are needed;
- breast milk carries antibodies from the mother that help combat disease.
- the act of breastfeeding itself stimulates proper growth of the mouth and jaw, and secretion of hormones for digestion and satiety;
- breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and baby and the interaction between the mother and child during breastfeeding has positive repercussions for life, in terms of stimulation, behaviour, speech, sense of wellbeing and security and how the child relates to other people;
- breastfeeding also lowers the risk of chronic conditions later in life, such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, childhood asthma and childhood leukaemias;
- breastfed infants do better on intelligence and behaviour tests into adulthood than formula-fed babies.
ICN Publications on Breastfeeding:
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