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November 27, 1991

Nutrition During Lactation

Author Affiliations

Rush Medical College Chicago, Ill

Rush Medical College Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1991;266(20):2911-2912. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470200125054

Breast-feeding, like prenatal nutrition, has gained renewed interest from health professionals and patients during recent years. After peaking in the 1980s, breast-feeding is currently on the decline in the United States, and those mothers who do choose to breast-feed tend to be older, white, and better educated. This report is the second of a series of committee reports evaluating nutrition during the reproductive cycle. Its purpose was to evaluate the effects of breast-feeding on the nutritional status and long-term health of the mother and the effects of the mother's nutritional status on the volume and composition of her milk and on the potential subsequent effects of these changes on infant health.

The report concluded that women who have healthy, full-term babies should be encouraged to breast-feed because of the known benefits to the baby and the potential benefits to the mother. Breast-feeding helps protect infants against gastrointestinal and respiratory infections