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The Pediatric Forum
June 2005

The Effect of Supplemental Fluids or Feedings During the First Days of Life on the Success and Duration of Breastfeeding: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(6):596-599. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.6.597

Breastfeeding is recognized as the ideal way of feeding healthy infants. The World Health Organization/United Nations Children's Fund Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative recommends that unless medically indicated, one should avoid feeding infants food or drinks other than breast milk, which may delay onset of full milk production and/or cause early termination of breastfeeding and early weaning.1 Although various studies have established a link between early weaning and prelacteal feedings and/or supplementation, most have been observational in design. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to determine the effect of supplemental fluids or feedings during the first few days of life on the overall breastfeeding duration and rate of exclusive breastfeeding among healthy infants, via systematic review of relevant studies in electronic databases.

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