Is breast milk the best food for all infants?

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4 Citations (Scopus)


In an effort to promote breast feeding, health workers are publicising the advantages of human milk. However, not all infants will benefit from being breast fed. Human milk may be unsuitable for infants with some metabolic conditions, or those whose mothers are undergoing certain drug therapies. Pooled breast milk from human milk banks is often of questionable nutritional quality, its use for sick infants requires careful consideration. The composition of breast milk is influenced by the maternal diet and environmental pollution. Occasional reports of nutritional deficiencies in breast-fed infants emphasise the unpredictability of human milk. These reports, although rare, serve as reminders that human milk is neither a perfect nor a complete food. Health workers need to be aware of the shortcomings of breast milk as well as its undoubted benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
JournalHuman nutrition. Applied nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes


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