Early Initiation of Combination Feeding among Latina Mothers in the Deep South: Perspectives for Clinicians

Authors: Jennifer Mandelbaum, MPH, Anna Mesa, MSPH, Maryam Alhabas, MSPH, Christine E. Blake, PhD, RD


Research suggests that exclusive breastfeeding supports optimal infant growth and development,1,2 protects against infections and allergic diseases,2,3 and confers benefits to mothers, including reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers.1–3 Current infant feeding recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics call for exclusive breastfeeding—when an infant is fed only breast milk with no additional foods or fluids, including formula, unless medically necessary—for 6 months postpartum, followed by continued breastfeeding with complementary foods for 1 year or longer.4

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