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Breastfeeding - Nutrition for Body and Soul

16/2013, 10.06.2013

The National Breastfeeding Committee is publishing updated brochures with information and recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding women

Breastfeeding is the natural way of feeding infants and breast milk provides ideal nutrition for them. It is easy to digest and composed in such a way that all the baby’s nutrition and hydration needs are met during the first half year of life. In addition, breastfed infants fall ill less often than those on formula. The National Breastfeeding Committee is therefore dedicated to ensuring, together with medical associations and professional bodies in Germany, that infants are preferably breastfed. In its recently updated information brochures, the Breastfeeding Committee provides information on the importance of breastfeeding, answers frequently asked questions and lists institutions giving breastfeeding advice and support.

It is generally known that breast milk meets all the baby’s nutrition and hydration needs in the first few months of life, that it is easy to digest and that breastfeeding is completely hygienic, and also that breastfed children are sick less often than other children. However, breastfeeding is more than just nutrition; it is also nourishment for the soul and strengthens the bonding between mother and child. For this reason, physical contact, love and a common routine are especially important for developing a good nursing relationship between mother and child.

Even though drinking milk from the mother’s breast is an inborn ability of infants, nursing must be learned and a routine established through frequent practice. Especially in the early stages of the breastfeeding period, nursing mothers therefore require competent advice and support. Experience shows that women who receive advice and instructions on how to breastfeed their baby in advance are less likely to have breastfeeding problems. Breastfeeding problems are the most frequent cause for early cessation in Germany.

Many difficulties and insecurity in connection with breastfeeding are attributable to a lack of information and support. With the now updated brochures, the National Breastfeeding Committee at the BfR gives practical tips on breastfeeding and points mothers to further sources of information such as organisations that can, in case of breastfeeding problems, be contacted in addition to midwives, breastfeeding consultants, gynaecologists or paediatricians.

The brochures “Information on Breastfeeding for Expectant Mothers” (for inclusion in the maternity passport) and “Recommendations for breastfeeding in infancy” (for inclusion in the child’s medical check-up booklet) are available in German, Turkish, Russian, English, French and Italian. They can be requested free of charge from the Office of the National Breastfeeding Committee (e-mail: or downloaded from the Internet (

About the BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.




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