World health organization

10 facts on breastfeeding

Two mothers sit on a bench together; each is breastfeeding her baby.
WHO/ T. Renavand

Support for mothers is essential

Breastfeeding has to be learned and many women encounter difficulties at the beginning. Many routine practices, such as separation of mother and baby, use of newborn nurseries, and supplementation with infant formula, actually make it harder for mothers and babies to breastfeed. Health facilities that support breastfeeding by avoiding these practices and making trained breastfeeding counsellors available to new mothers encourage higher rates of the practice. To provide this support and improve care for mothers and newborns, there are "baby-friendly" facilities in about 152 countries thanks to the WHO-UNICEF Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative.

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