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An infant breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is when a mother feeds her babies with her breasts. The baby puts its mouth on to their mother's nipple and sucks the milk out. Another common way to breastfeed is using a breast pump. It is a machine used to pump the milk out of the breast so the child can drink it later.

Babies have a reflex to suck everything that is put in their mouth. Most babies do not need infant formula milk (powder milk) or solid food for six months or more.

Breast milk is the best food for babies' health and growth.[1] However, there are some exceptions: when the mother takes illegal drugs, is infected with tuberculosis, or has AIDS. There are many reasons to breastfeed. Babies that breastfeed have a reduced risk for several diseases.[2] In addition, it makes for cheaper feeding and health care. In both developing and developed countries, breastfeeding without giving the baby any other drinks leads to fewer deaths from diarrhoea.[3] Experts agree that breast milk is the best drink for a baby, but do not all agree about how long mothers should breastfeed, and about how safe powder milk is.

References[change | change source]

  1. Huggins, R.N. M.S., Kathleen (2010). The Nursing Mother's Companion 6th Edition. The Harvard Common Press. p. 2. ISBN 9781558327207.
  2. "Why breastfeeding is important". US Department of Health and Human Services. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  3. Lamberti, L.M.; Walker, C.L.F., Noiman, A., Victora, C., and Black, R.E. (April 2011). "Breastfeeding and the risk for diarrhea morbidity and mortality". BMC Public Health 11. Retrieved 2 March 2016. "In comparison to exclusive breastfeeding, predominant (RR: 2.28), partial (RR: 4.62) and not (RR: 10.52) breastfeeding led to an elevated risk of diarrhea mortality among infants 0-5 mos of age.".