Breastfeeding Beyond 6 Months

Internationally agreed recommendations for optimal feeding of infants and young children advocate exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, followed by complementary feeding and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond. From 6 months, infants need additional foods alongside continued breastfeeding. This is termed complementary feeding because the aim is to give other foods and drinks to ‘complement’, as in ‘make complete’, the nutrients provided by human milk. Appropriate CF is an advocacy issue because of lack of understanding and misinformation through the promotion of commercially produced follow-up and growing up milks.

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When breastmilk is no longer enough to meet the nutritional needs of the infant, complementary foods should be added to the diet of the child. The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, referred to as complementary feeding, typically covers the period from 6 to 18-24 months of age.

World Health Organization Complementary feeding: Report of the global consultation
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WABA Statement
WABA Statement on Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Continued Breastfeeding from 6 - 24 + Months: Issues, Politics, Policies and Action

JOINT STATEMENT based on a workshop of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) Global Breastfeeding Partners Meeting (GBPM) VII in Penang, Malaysia, October 2008
As breastfeeding continues after six months, it is the time to introduce complementary foods.
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World Breastfeeding Week 2005
World Breastfeeding Week 2005
Breastfeeding and Family Food: Loving & Healthy
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General information on complementary feeding and continued breastfeeding.
Williams C. Breastfeeding and Family Foods: loving and healthy. Briefing Documents. World Breastfeeding Week 2005, World Alliance Breastfeeding Action, Penang, 2005.
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Background information about the Development of RUTF
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Continued BF and complementary feeding in relation to HIV
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Clinton Foundation – General introduction of application of RUTF in context of HIV
The Hunger Bazaar; Ethical Issues in Public Private Partnerships in Nutrition and Conflicts of Interest. Holla RA, Menon L. Medical Friend Circle Bulletin, 2008;August Sept: 8-13