Babies fed on breastmilk have fewer illnesses
and less malnutrition than babies who are bottle-fed
on other foods. If all babies were exclusively
breastfed for about the first six months of
life, then the deaths of more than 1 million
infants a year would be prevented.
Bottle-feeding is a special threat in poor
communities where parents may not be able to
afford sufficient milk-powder, may not have
clean water to mix it with, and may not be able
to sterilize teats and feeding bottles.
The six prime messages
in this chapter can help to avert that threat
and promote the healthy growth of young children.
Many mothers lack confidence in their own ability
to breastfeed. They need the encouragement and
practical support of fathers, health workers,
relatives and friends, women's groups, the mass
media, trade unions and employers.
There is a chance that mothers who are infected
with HIV/AIDS could pass the disease to their
uninfected infants through breastfeeding.
The Six Facts Of Life
Click on message to access more detailed information
Breastmilk alone is the best possible food
and drink for a baby. No other food or drink
is needed for about the first six months of
should start to breastfeed as soon as possible
after birth. Virtually every mother can breastfeed
causes more milk to be produced. A baby needs
to suck frequently at the breast so that enough
breastmilk is produced to meet the baby's
helps to protect babies and young children
against dangerous diseases. Bottle-feeding
can lead to serious illness and death.
A variety of additional foods is necessary
when a child is about six months old, but
breastfeeding should continue well into the
second year of a child's life and for longer
gives a mother 98% protection against pregnancy
for six months after giving birth - if her
baby breastfeeds frequently, day and night,
if the baby is not regularly given other food
and drink, and if the mother's periods have