Infant Feeding
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Also discover to learn how to Breastfeed Your Baby.

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Agencies that study infant feeding include:

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) conducts and supports research on Breastfeeding and Breast Milk

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Links to websites of groups that study or provide information about breastfeeding and breast milk include:

Breast Milk or Formula

Health experts agree that breast milk is considered best for the baby because it has all the necessary vitamins and minerals that the infant needs. It is recommend that babies feed only on breast milk for the first 6 months, and then continue to have breast milk as a main part of their diet until they are at least 1 to 2 years old.  However, for a parent not able to breastfeed or who decides not to, or for parents of an infant with special medical needs, infant formula may be a healthy alternative. The decision about how to feed your baby is a personal one. Consult with your health provider to decide what is best for you and your family.

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Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding by

What obstacles do mothers encounter when they attempt to breastfeed?

Although most infants born in 2017 started breastfeeding (84.1%), only 58.3% of infants were breastfeeding at 6 months. The percentage of breastfed infants supplemented with infant formula before 2 days of age was 19.2% among infants born in 2017, an increase from 16.9% among infants born in 2016. Source: Breastfeeding Report Card United States, 2020

  • Lack of experience or understanding among family members of how best to support mothers and babies.
  • Not enough opportunities to communicate with other breastfeeding mothers.
  • Lack of up-to-date instruction and information from health care professionals.
  • Hospital practices that make it hard to get started with successful breastfeeding.
  • Lack of accommodation to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace.

Source: Breastfeeding: Surgeon General’s Call to Action Fact Sheet

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): WIC Breastfeeding Support

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Terms of use: Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) staff offer these health discussion resources for educational use. The materials included do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the author, publisher, or the sponsoring agencies of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).