Effects of brief exposure to water, breast milk substitutes, or other liquids, on the success and duration of breastfeeding

Added October 1, 2020

Citation: Szajewska H., Horvath A., Koletzko B., et al. Effects of brief exposure to water, breast milk substitutes, or other liquids, on the success and duration of breastfeeding: A systematic review. Acta Paediatrica 2006;95(2):145-52. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2006.tb02199.x

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Considerable uncertainty remains as to the effect of short exposure to water, breastmilk substitutes and other liquids (supplementary) on the success and duration of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is recognized as carrying many benefits for children in crucial phases of their development. Exclusive breastfeeding allows children to receive minerals, vitamins and even medicine just through breastfeeding. This review aims to evaluate the effect of supplementation during the first days of life on breastfeeding duration and the rates of exclusive breastfeeding. A randomized controlled trial has been included in this review with data collected from 170 participating children. It is also possible that a selection bias may be present in this review. The results have shown higher rates of formula use in four-week-old babies when breastfeeding begins in the first three days of life compared to exclusive breastfeeding. At sixteen weeks, the rates of continuous breastfeeding, exclusive or not, were significantly lower in the experimental group. Brief exposure of breastfed infants to other supplementation noticeably reduces the success and duration of breastfeeding. The results should be interpreted with caution given the limited amount of evidence. There is a gap between the evidence gathered and the knowledge about the effects of brief supplementation on breastfeeding.


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