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Myths & Facts - Facts For Life

Courtesy: UNICEF

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 on Breastfeeding.
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  1. 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 life.

  2. Babies should start to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth. Virtually every mother can breastfeed her baby.

  3. Breastfeeding 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 needs.

  4. Breastfeeding helps to protect babies and young children against dangerous diseases. Bottle-feeding can lead to serious illness and death.

  5. 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 if possible.

  6. Breastfeeding 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 not returned.



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Disclaimer: All material provided at is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.