Breast feeding

Breast feeding

Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020
Breast feeding

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.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: breastfeeding overview medline plus breastfeeding womans health breastfeeding healthy breastfeeding fit breastfeeding guide for the whole first year health direct breastfeeding american breastfeeding unicef breastfeeding child breastfeeding


Advanced information: breastfeeding 10 facts on breastfeeding breastfeeding tips & guide breastfeeding & psychiatric medications mgh center for womans health breastfeeding, family physicians supporting (position paper) breast breastfeeding history child and youth health breastfeeding - a new baby guide to breastfeeding resources in new york city breastfeeding - a great start a strategy for northern ireland 2013-2023 providing breastfeeding support:model hospital policy recommendations md anderson cancer center breastfeeding lowers your breast cancer risk breastfeeding basics


Research:;year=2012;volume=37;issue=1;spage=20;epage=24;aulast=benakappa benakappa ad, shivamurthy p. Beliefs regarding diet during childhood illness. Indian j community med 2012;37:20-4 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 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. 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 sexual function in breastfeeding women in family health centers of tabriz, iran, 2012 by jamileh malakoti et al., journal of caring sciences, 2013, 2(2), 141-146 doi: 10.5681/jcs.2013.017 http:// jcs feeding practices in infants: ritual factors dominating mother’s education - a cross sectional study by dinesh kumar et al., international journal of research in medical sciences kumar d et al. Int j res med sci. 2014 nov;2(4):1642-1647 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 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 j. Appl. Oral sci. Vol.23 no.2 bauru mar./apr. 2015 original articles:the effects of frenotomy on breastfeeding by roberta lopes de castro martinelli et al. prevailing breast feeding practices of infants attending paediatric out-patient department by manjunatha swamy r*, ravindra b. Patil, venugopal

international journal of research in medical sciences manjunatha swamy r et al. Int j res med sci. 2015 jan;3(1):291-296 doi: 10.5455/2320-6012.ijrms20150153 actual exclusive breastfeeding rates and determinants among a cohort of children living in gampaha district sri lanka: a prospective observational study by priyantha j perera et al., international breastfeeding journal20127:21 doi: 10.1186/1746-4358-7-21


Other helpful resources(support groups): breast feeding association


presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: fox 4 newsbreastfeeding in fort worth café causes social media backlash mother ordered to stop ‘sexual’ breastfeeding in hospital

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