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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding offers many advantages to infants and their mothers. Breastmilk is the best source of food for your baby, because it contains the ideal balance of nutrients and anti-infective substances. It has been shown to protect infants against illness and allergies and has been shown to provide vital substances needed for brain development. Breastfeeding also has positive health benefits for women; including faster recovery from pregnancy, labor, and delivery; less postpartum bleeding; quicker return to prepregnant weight; and decreased risk for certain cancers. Breastfeeding offers a unique opportunity for maternal-infant interaction and bonding, and it is always available when the baby is hungry.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), exclusive breastfeeding is the best source of infant nutrition for the first six months of life. The AAP also recommends breastfeeding for at least twelve months. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for at least two years.

Breastfeeding should begin almost immediately after birth, and babies should be fed whenever they are hungry. For successful breastfeeding, it is important to learn how to initiate and continue breastfeeding comfortably. If problems occur, it is important to seek help.

For further information on Breastfeeding:

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