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Breastfeeding

Human milk is the appropriate nutrition for infants. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding with appropriate introduction of solids at 6 months reduces the risk of many illnesses and chronic diseases. The Healthy People 2010 breastfeeding goals are to increase to 75% the proportion of women who initiate breastfeeding, to 50% the proportion of women who are breastfeeding at 6 months, and to 25% the proportion of women who breastfeed for 1 year. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, followed by the timely introduction of appropriate complementary foods, and continued breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond.

Despite documentation and public knowledge of the health, social, and economic benefits of breastfeeding and recommendations from numerous organizations, including the ...

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