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Breastfeeding recommendations of the National Committee for the Promotion of Breastfeeding now also available in Italian and Russian

20/2001, 10.07.2001

Breastfeeding is the best and healthiest form of nutrition for the infant.

The German National Committee for the Promotion of Breastfeeding, therefore, recommends that children should be exclusively breastfed in the first four to six months of their lives and weaning food should be introduced at the earliest in the 5th month or even better in the 6th or 7th months.

A study by the Research Institute for Children's Nutrition (FKE Dortmund) on the subject of breastfeeding and infant formula in Germany from 1997/98 has shown that directly after birth there is a very high readiness to breastfeed (just under 90% of mothers breastfeed after giving birth) but that it falls off very quickly after that. The proportion of exclusively breastfed infants falls rapidly from 60% 14 days after birth to 41.7% at the end of the 2nd month. At the end of the 4th month only 33% of infants are exclusively breastfed.

One reason for premature weaning are breastfeeding problems which occur after the mothers leave the hospital. This shows that care of and attention to mothers is particularly in need of improvement during this phase. Also advance information to pregnant women and mothers about breastfeeding helps to prevent potential breastfeeding problems or to solve them with the support of experts.

The National Committee for the Promotion of Breastfeeding provides brochures with "Breastfeeding recommendations" free of charge. They describe the advantages of breastfeeding for mother and child. Information is provided about preparation for breastfeeding during pregnancy and tips are given on how to make the commencement of breastfeeding easier. Furthermore, the brochures contain the addresses of organisations which have to do with breastfeeding and offer help and assistance when problems occur. The breastfeeding recommendations have been available for five years in German and for one year in Turkish. Fortunately, there is a high demand. Last year around 140,000 German and 70,000 Turkish copies were mailed out. The goal that every maternity logbook (white leaflets) and every early detection examination record for children (green leaflets), should contain an insert on breastfeeding has not yet been achieved.

The National Committee for the Promotion of Breastfeeding within BgVV is, therefore, also making its recommendations available as of now in Italian and Russian. In addition an English-language version can be accessed on the BgVV website on (link Foods/Infant nutrition or Institute/Advisory Committees). Gynaecologists and paediatricians are asked to insert the breastfeeding recommendations in every maternity logbook or each early detection examination record they issue.

The breastfeeding recommendations are free of charge. They can be obtained by writing to the National Committee for the Promotion of Breastfeeding within the Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine and stating the number of copies required and language.


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