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John Puntis

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date: 25 May 2020

Breastfeeding has many benefits to both mother and infant and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. Correct positioning of the baby at the breast and social and emotional support for the mother are among other factors that are important to successful breastfeeding. The ‘Baby Friendly’ initiative sets out ten steps to successful breastfeeding and encourages maternity hospitals to implement these and become accredited. The WHO ‘International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes’ gives clear guidance on acceptable practices to formula manufacturers so that breastfeeding is not undermined. ‘Tongue tie’ has increasingly become regarded as a cause of maternal pain and difficulty latching on during breastfeeds. However, estimates of prevalence show huge variation and there is no agreed standard method of assessment. In addition, the risks of frenotomy need to be balanced against any possible benefit.

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