The term breastfeeding refers to the feeding of a mother’s breast milk to a child by the breast itself; its definition can be expanded to include feeding using expressed (pumped) breast milk. Breastfeeding has been noted as the preferred feeding method for infants. This entry provides an overview of the relevant research on breastfeeding and discusses recommendations for encouraging breastfeeding and supporting mothers in their efforts to begin and continue breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding has been the subject of much research interest. Various studies have reported health benefits for both the child and the mother. Babies who are breastfed receive antibodies from the breast milk. They are less likely to get ear infections, stomach viruses, respiratory infections, asthma, obesity, and type 1 and type 2 diabetes; they have ...

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