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Breast milk provides the baby with all the nutrients it needs
Breastfeeding is healthy for both the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding for longer could save 800,000 babies worldwide and 20,000 women from breast cancer. That is the conclusion of an analysis of several studies.
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This is the conclusion of the British trade journal "The Lancet" released on Friday. The overall study is based on data from dozens of studies and analyzes on the health and economic consequences of breastfeeding.
Women in industrialized countries breastfeed less
According to this, only one in five children in industrialized countries is breastfed for a full twelve months, in poorer countries it is one in three children who are fully breastfed for the first six months. As a result, millions of babies missed the benefits of breast milk, the authors said.
Breastfeeding for at least six months
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breast milk only for the first six months of life and partial breastfeeding up to two years of age. Breast milk not only contains all the necessary nutrients, it also protects the baby from childhood diseases.
In rich countries, breastfeeding reduced the risk of sudden infant death by more than a third, the authors said. In poorer countries, prolonged breastfeeding could prevent around half of diarrhea epidemics and a third of respiratory diseases. In addition, the mother's milk later reduces the risk of diabetes and obesity in the child and breast and ovarian cancer in the mother.