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Many women choose to breastfeed their babies due to the significant health benefits provided over infant formula for both baby and mother.

Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby requires for the first six months of life. Following this period, solid foods can gradually be introduced. The World Health Organization recommends feeding babies exclusively on breast milk for the first six months of life and then continuing breastfeeding once the infant has started to eat solid food, until up to two years of age.

Antibodies present in the breast milk boost the baby’s immune system and decrease the likelihood of diarrhoea, vomiting, or chest and ear infections developing. Breast feeding is also thought to decrease the risk of obesity later in life and therefore reduces the likelihood of conditions such as type 2 diabetes developing. Breast milk is also easier to digest than commercial formula.

For the mother, breastfeeding lowers the risk for breast and ovarian cancer as well as expending up to 500 calories a day, saving money, and helping to build a strong bond with the baby.

Any amount of breastfeeding has positive effects and the longer a child is breastfed for, the longer the health benefits will last for both baby and mother.
Increased breastfeeding could save over 800000 children’s lives annually

Increased breastfeeding could save over 800000 children’s lives annually

Just 1 in 5 children in high-income countries are breastfed to 12 months, whilst only 1 in 3 children in low and middle-income countries are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months. [More]
Costs of lower cognitive ability linked with not breastfeeding amount to over $300 billion each year

Costs of lower cognitive ability linked with not breastfeeding amount to over $300 billion each year

When countries, rich or poor, support breastfeeding through meaningful investments and programs, it has an impact on their bottom line and the health of women and children. The Lancet Breastfeeding Series, released today, finds that globally, the costs of lower cognitive ability associated with not breastfeeding amount to more than $300 billion each year, a figure comparable to the entire global pharmaceutical market. [More]
PAHO recommendations for preventing or slowing spread of Zika virus

PAHO recommendations for preventing or slowing spread of Zika virus

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the Americas. Since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission of the virus in May 2015, it has spread to 21 countries and territories* of the Americas (as of 23 January 2016). [More]
Metabolic profile derived from routine newborn screenings could determine infant's gestational age

Metabolic profile derived from routine newborn screenings could determine infant's gestational age

Knowing if an infant was born on time or prematurely can make all the difference in deciding what medical care the baby needs. [More]
Age of gluten introduction does not reduce risk of celiac disease in at-risk infants

Age of gluten introduction does not reduce risk of celiac disease in at-risk infants

Based on new evidence, the age of introduction of gluten into the infant diet -- or the practice of introducing gluten during breast-feeding -- does not reduce the risk of celiac disease in infants at risk, according to a Position Paper of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. [More]
New BSR guidelines on prescribing anti-rheumatic medication during pregnancy, breastfeeding

New BSR guidelines on prescribing anti-rheumatic medication during pregnancy, breastfeeding

The new BSR guidelines make a number of specific recommendations for the use of standard and/or biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), providing crucial advice for clinicians, obstetricians and midwives. [More]
Help beat the blues this Monday with a B12 Boost

Help beat the blues this Monday with a B12 Boost

Boost your mood and energy levels this Blue Monday (18 January) by topping up your vitamin B12, say natural health pioneers BetterYou. [More]
Researchers suggest microorganisms in the womb set stage for health problems later in life

Researchers suggest microorganisms in the womb set stage for health problems later in life

Researchers review importance of microorganisms that exist in the gut, suggesting perturbation of the environment during pregnancy, delivery and early infancy could impact the developing baby's early microbiome and set the stage for health problems later in life. The term "microbiome" refers to the trillions of organisms we harbor, on our skin and within our respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. [More]
New study pinpoints five top risk factors responsible for undernutrition among children in India

New study pinpoints five top risk factors responsible for undernutrition among children in India

In India, nearly 40% of all children are stunted--of extremely low height for their age--and nearly 30% are underweight. A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has now pinpointed the five top risk factors responsible for more than two-thirds of the problem. [More]
Incorporating postpartum contraceptive services across the continuum of reproductive healthcare

Incorporating postpartum contraceptive services across the continuum of reproductive healthcare

Approximately one-quarter of inter-birth intervals in low- and middle-income countries are less than 24 months in length, exposing infants to risks of prematurity, low birthweight, and death. Increased evidence of these health risks has emerged in the past few decades and, after a period of neglect, interest in postpartum family planning has followed, supported by organizations like WHO and USAID. [More]
Early life exposures to toxic chemicals reduce infants' response to TB vaccine

Early life exposures to toxic chemicals reduce infants' response to TB vaccine

Early life exposures to toxic chemicals such as PCBs and DDT dampen an infant's response to the tuberculosis vaccine, according to a new study from the University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center. [More]
WHO’s new checklist targets preventable causes of maternal, newborn deaths in healthcare settings

WHO’s new checklist targets preventable causes of maternal, newborn deaths in healthcare settings

Worldwide, the majority of maternal and newborn deaths occur around the time of birth, typically within the first 24 hours after childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable. [More]
XARELTO reduces rates of major bleeding, recurrent blood clots in people with deep vein thrombosis

XARELTO reduces rates of major bleeding, recurrent blood clots in people with deep vein thrombosis

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its development partner, Bayer HealthCare, today announced the results from their real-world study XALIA showing that, in people with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the rates of major bleeding and recurrent blood clots for XARELTO (rivaroxaban) in routine clinical practice were generally consistent with those observed in Phase 3 research. [More]
Oxytocin hormone strengthens social ties

Oxytocin hormone strengthens social ties

Nowadays, much emphasis is placed on sustainability. The degree to which people are willing to donate their own money for this depends on their level of oxytocin. Scientists at the University of Bonn Hospital have discovered that the willingness to donate increases with the quantity of this bonding hormone. However, oxytocin only has an effect with regard to social sustainability projects. The hormone does not increase the ability to participate in the case of purely environmentally oriented projects. [More]
Breastfeeding may offer unique benefits to women, protect against type 2 diabetes after delivery

Breastfeeding may offer unique benefits to women, protect against type 2 diabetes after delivery

Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine. [More]
New report reviews current WIC food packages

New report reviews current WIC food packages

Women and children who participate in the WIC program have low or inadequate intakes of several key nutrients that could be addressed with changes to the program's food packages, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. [More]
12 months of liquid formula HIV drugs protect breastfeeding babies against HIV infection

12 months of liquid formula HIV drugs protect breastfeeding babies against HIV infection

A study from four countries in Africa, published in The Lancet, shows that providing babies with up to 12 months of liquid formula HIV drugs, while breastfeeding with their HIV-positive mothers, is highly effective at protecting them from infection, including in the 6–12 month period after birth which has not been analysed in previous research. [More]
New article examines women's perceptions of relationship in Fifty Shades of Grey

New article examines women's perceptions of relationship in Fifty Shades of Grey

Examining women's perceptions of the relationship between Christian and Anastasia in the popular movie Fifty Shades of Grey is a safe and valuable way to discuss healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics, including the warning signs of intimate partner violence. Young women expressed mixed views, describing parts of the movie relationship as exciting and romantic and other aspects as controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive in a new study published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. [More]
Breastfeeding may not protect against allergies

Breastfeeding may not protect against allergies

Pregnant women and new mothers receive many messages regarding the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first year of life. Breastfeeding is thought to reduce the risk of allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, food allergies and eczema in children. [More]
Gastric reduction surgery can significantly increase patient's risk of developing allergy

Gastric reduction surgery can significantly increase patient's risk of developing allergy

Amongst other things, operations to reduce the size of the stomach can significantly increase the patient's risk of developing an allergy. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna. [More]
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