e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Breastfeeding education for increased breastfeeding duration

Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both the mother and infant. Breast milk contains all the nutrients an infant needs in the first six months of life. Breastfeeding protects against diarrhoea and common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, and may also have longer-term health benefits for the mother and child, such as reducing the risk of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence. Breastfeeding has also been associated with higher intelligence quotient (IQ) in children.

WHO recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods, while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond.

Evidence suggests that educational interventions during pregnancy (e.g. peer counselling, lactation consultation or formal breastfeeding education) may increase the duration of breastfeeding, however further research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.

WHO recommendations

Further research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.

WHO documents


GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Evidence


Related Cochrane reviews
Clinical trials
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Last update:

28 July 2014 17:17 CEST

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Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Biological, behavioural and contextual rationale

Essential Nutrition Actions

This intervention is an Essential Nutrition Action targeting the first 1000 days of life.