In the latest report of the World Health Organization (WHO), nutritionists and experts still recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, to achieve maximum growth, health and development. The child’s diet should then be comprised of nutritious foods aside from breastfeeding until the age of two.
The report’s findings drew reference from a 2009 review published in The Cochrane Library, which strongly emphasized that nothing compares to the nutritional benefits derived from a mother’s breast milk, for babies.
The said review conducted controlled trials and 18 studies in developed and developing countries, concluding that exclusively breastfeeding for six months had greater nutritional benefits over exclusively breastfeeding for just three to four months, followed by mixed breastfeeding.
The advantages include reduced risk for gastrointestinal infection, faster weight loss for the moms after birth, as well as delayed return of menstruation.
No adverse effects were documented from exclusively breastfeeding for six months, but there have been observed cases of lower iron levels in developing countries.
SOURCES: • Yinka Shokunbi. January 29, 2011. “Exclusive breastfeeding for six months still best” IndependentNGOnline.com • January 20, 2011. “Breast feeding is still best for babies” SAFAids.net • January 19, 2011. “Exclusive breastfeeding for six months still best for babies everywhere, says WHO” NationalMirrorOnline.net • Zinhie Mapumulo. January 19, 2011. “Breastfeeding is still best for babies – WHO” TheNewAge.co.za