The practice of feeding an infant and young child with human breast milk is highly encouraged by health professionals due to the multitude of health benefits conveyed to both infants and mothers through breastfeeding. These benefits include lower rates of ear and intestinal infections in infants and reduced cancer rates in women. However, beyond the health implications, breastfeeding is also a psychological and societal issue. Much debate has arisen, for example, regarding mothers’ perceptions of undue pressures to breast-feed and inadequate support for breastfeeding in the workplace and in public. Furthermore, breastfeeding is also a matter that intersects with gender, as men and women vary in their attitudes, knowledge, and support of breastfeeding. The present entry provides a brief overview of characteristics associated with breastfeeding ...

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