Topics in Clinical Nutrition
September 2012, Volume 27 Number 3 , p 196 - 205
Breastfeeding is recommended by health authorities for at least the first year of life because of the significant impact it has on acute and chronic illnesses both while breastfeeding and throughout the lifetime. Normal infant feeding is breastfeeding, yet mothers face many challenges. Despite guidelines to breast-feed exclusively for 6 months and to continue breastfeeding along with complementary foods for at least 1 year, current data shows us that few women achieve this goal. Changes in public health infrastructure to support, promote, and protect breastfeeding have occurred in the United States to raise awareness and minimize barriers to breastfeeding.