We believe that breastfeeding is the ideal nutritional start for babies, and we fully support the World Health Organizations recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life followed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods along with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age.
We also recognize that breastfeeding is not always an option for parents. We recommend healthcare professionals to inform parents about the advantages of breastfeeding & to educate mothers to start breastfeeding immediately after birth (within the first hour). A healthy diet is essential to support a healthy pregnancy and to prepare and maintain lactation.
If parents consider not to breastfeed, healthcare professionals should inform parents that such a decision can be difficult to reverse and that the introduction of partial bottle-feeding or complementary food before six months of age will reduce the supply of breast milk. Parents should consider the social, financial, health, & environmental implications of the use of infant formula.
As babies grow at different rates, healthcare professionals should advise the importance of initiating at six months for a baby to begin eating complementary foods, highlighting that is preferable to prepare complementary foods at home using materials available to the family in a safe manner.
Infant formula and complementary foods should always be prepared properly when needed whether manufactured industrially or home-prepared to be used and stored as instructed on the label in order to avoid risks to a baby's health related to hazards of unnecessary or improper use of infant formula & other breast milk substitutes as well as hazards related to inappropriate foods or feeding methods.
Healthcare professionals should provide counselling on the proper use of cups, spoons, other utensils explaining the risks associated with using pacifiers & artificial teats, ensuring that materials used do not use any pictures or texts that may idealize the use of breast-milk substitutes.
2’-FL. FDA GRAS Notice (GRN) No. 735. September 29 2017.
Estorninos E, et al. Pediatr Res. 2021 May 6.
Hegar B, et al. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2019 Jul;22(4):330-340.
Estornios E et al. Term infant formula supplemented with bovine milk-derived oligosaccharides improves intestinal immune defense. Presented at FASEB Science Research Conferences Nutritional Immunology and the Microbiota: Rules of Engagement in Health & Disease.
Puccio G, et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Apr;64(4):624-631.
Yao M, et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014;59(4):440-8.
Nowacki et al. Nutrition Journal 2014;13:105.
Kennedy et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Nov;70(5):920-927.
Trabulsi J, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011;65(2):167-174.
Davis AM, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008;62(11):1294-1301.