Breast-feeding is the ideal form of nutrition for the first 6 months of infant life. Breast-fed children can expect a lower incidence of common childhood infections. Mothers who breast-feed can expect a significant reduction in their risk for breast cancer, and 6 months of breast-feeding can help prevent future obesity in some infants. In infants with a family history of asthma, the breast-fed child can expect a significant reduction in the risk for developing asthma during childhood. Breast-feeding should not be attempted by an HIV-infected mother living in a developed country, but a short course of zidovudine can reduce the risk of transmission. Ingested food proteins can be passed from mother to child during breast-feeding. There is increased potential for children of diabetic mothers to develop impaired glucose tolerance and obesity. There would be benefit to some breast-fed children if low quantities of supplemental iron and, in rare cases, zinc were added to their diets in the first 6 months of life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Breast cancer
- HIV transmission