Breastfeeding or nursing is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman's breast. Health professionals recommend that breastfeeding begin within the first hour of a baby's life and it be allowed as often and as much as the baby wants. During the first few weeks of life babies may nurse eight to twelve times a day (every two to three hours). The duration of a feeding is usually ten to fifteen minutes on each breast. The frequency of feeding decreases as the child gets older. Some mothers pump milk so that it can be used later when their child is being cared for by others. Breastfeeding benefits both mother and baby. Infant formula does not have many of the benefits.
It is estimated that about 820,000 deaths of children less than five years old could be prevented globally per year through more widespread breastfeeding. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of respiratory tract infections and diarrhea. This is true both in developing and developed countries. Other benefits include lower risks of asthma, food allergies, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and leukemia. Breastfeeding may also improve cognitive development and decrease the risk of obesity in adulthood. Some mothers may feel considerable pressure to breastfeed, but children who are not breastfed grow up normally – without significant harm to their future health.
Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother include less blood loss following delivery, better uterus shrinkage, weight loss, and less postpartum depression. It also increases the time before menstruation and fertility returns, known as lactational amenorrhea. Long term benefits may include a decreased risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Breastfeeding is less expensive for the family than infant formula.
Health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), recommend feeding for six months only through breastfeeding. This means that no other foods or drinks other than possibly vitamin D are typically given. After the introduction of foods at six months of age, continued breastfeeding until at least one to two years of age is then recommended. Globally about 38% of infants are only breastfed during their first six months of life. In the United States, about 75% of women begin breastfeeding and about 13% only breastfeed until the age of six months. Medical conditions that do not allow breastfeeding are uncommon. Mothers who take recreational drugs and certain medications should not breastfeed.
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http://njcmindia.org/uploads/3-2_274-278.pdf factors for cessations of exclusive breast feeding at end of 6 weeks in healthy term and late preterm neonates born in a hospital set up in north india by jain suksham, singla manju, chawla deepak national journal of community medicine vol 3 issue 2 april-june 2012
http://www.jebmh.com/data_pdf/4_bhagyalakshmi%20atla.pdf prospective study of cyto histopathological correlation of breast lesions by i. Vijayabharathi et al., i. Vijayabharathi, a. Bhagyalakshmi, j. Rajendra prasad, s. Satish kumar. ”prospective study of cyto histopathological correlation of breast lesions”. Journal of evidence based medicine and healthcare; volume 2, issue 24, june 15, 2015; page: 3577-3586.
http://ijmrhs.com/vi32/13%20sabharwal%20etal.pdf effectivenes of peer-counseling for promoting optimal complementary feeding practices among infants belonging to urban slums of delhi by sabharwal vandana, pasi santosh jain volume 3 isue 2 (april - jun) coden: ijmrhs
http://njcmindia.org/uploads/4-1_91-95.pdf prevalence and epidemiological determinants of malnutrition among under-fives in an urban slum, nagpur by poonam p dhatrak et al., national journal of community medicine¦volume 4¦issue 1¦jan – mar 2013
http://www.als-journal.com/243-15/ infants-feeding practices and their relationship with socio-economic and health conditions in lahore, pakistan by saadia ijaz et al., adv. Life sci., vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 158-164, august 2015