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Guidelines for breastfeeding and weaning 

Guidelines for breastfeeding and weaning
Chapter:
Guidelines for breastfeeding and weaning
Author(s):

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198722700.003.0038
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date: 21 October 2019

Breastfeeding provides almost all of the nutrient requirements for the growing infant to the age of 6 months. Complementary foods rich in iron should be introduced by 6 months, but continued breastfeeding past this point is still beneficial to the infant. It is also beneficial for the mother, reducing postpartum weight retention and lowering the risk of breast and other gynaecological cancers. Breastfeeding women have increased energy requirements to meet the energy costs of milk production. Some specific nutrient requirements also increase during lactation. Excess alcohol consumption, smoking, illicit drugs, and acute exposures to known toxic substances should be avoided. Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs are suitable for use during lactation, including some pain medications, anti-infectives, anti-hypertensives, and drugs to treat postpartum depression. These should be taken under the advice of a physician.

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