Exclusive Breastfeeding – what it is and why it matters

The widespread adoption of exclusive breastfeeding – feeding by breast milk alone for the first six months of the baby’s life – has the potential to save newborn lives of more than 1.5 million infants each year.

The key points are:
• breastfeeding delays the mother’s return to fertility because of lactational amenorrhoea,
• breastfeeding provides the best possible nutrition for the baby,
• unless extremely malnourished, virtually all mothers can produce enough milk,
• successful breastfeeding requires support for the mother and the family,
• there is no need for extra bottle feeds or water for normal babies even in hot climates, (exposing baby to water increases the likelihood of infections, especially diarrhea).

Increasing the uptake of breastfeeding by supporting mother’s in the neonatal intensive care unit and high dependency unit supports the unit’s continuum of care from basic interventions to more advanced care and all of these will enhanced by building the capacity of nursing staff to educate and support families, you can help by sponsoring the Kangaroo Mother Care/Breastfeeding programme.

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