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The early initiation of breastfeeding – putting newborns to the breast within the first hour of life – is critical to newborn survival and to establishing breastfeeding over the long term. When breastfeeding is delayed after birth, the consequences can be life-threatening – and the longer newborns are left waiting, the greater the risk.
This report presents the global situation of early initiation of breastfeeding and describes trends over the past ten years. Drawing from an analysis of early initiation rates among babies delivered by skilled birth attendants, the report describes key findings and examines the factors that both help and hinder an early start to breastfeeding. The report outlines key learnings from countries where rates of early initiation have improved or deteriorated and concludes with recommendations for policy and programmatic action.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommend that children initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life – meaning no other foods or liquids are provided, including water. From the age of 6 months, children should begin eating safe and adequate complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years and beyond.
Read & downalod the full article: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/capture-moment-early-initiation-bf/en/