How Does Breastfeeding Affect Children’s Health?

Text Author: Diana Ivanenko
Photographer: Irina Arbuzova

Scaling up breastfeeding can annually prevent 20,000 maternal deaths, 823,000 child deaths, and $302 billion in economic losses. So, it is not just words: optimal breastfeeding is vital to the lifelong good health and well-being of women and children.

And here are WHO’s and UNICEF’s recommendations on a proper breastfeeding:

  • Early initiation of breastfeeding should be within 1 hour of birth;
  • Exclusive breastfeeding should be for the first 6 months of life. That means no other foods or liquids are provided, including water;
  • Continued breastfeeding should be up to 2 years of age or beyond, with the introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months;
  • Infants should be breastfed on demand – that is as often as the child wants, day and night. No bottles, teats, or pacifiers should be used.

At Health & Help clinics, we help expectant and current mothers get ultrasounds and other prenatal tests performed, receive childcare medical advice, and obtain necessary vitamins. Every month, our doctors help women gain confidence in the future.

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