Answers to Quiz on infant feeding

  1. What is the definition of ‘exclusive breastfeeding’?Exclusive breastfeeding means giving only colostrum and breast milk (and modern medicines and micronutrients if prescribed), but no other foods, water or other drinks – even in hot, dry places.
  2. For how long does WHO recommend that a baby is exclusively breastfed? Until the age of 6 months. Giving babies artificial milks and/or other foods, water or other drinks before the age of 6 months, puts them at risk of malnutrition and infection.
  3. List 3 advantages of breastfeeding. There are many – for example:
    • Breast milk and colostrum contain all the nutrients and water that a baby needs up to the age of 6 months. The nutrients are more easily digested and absorbed, and used more efficiently in the body, than the nutrients in artificial milks.

    • Breast milk and colostrum, unlike artificial milks, contain living anti-infective factors that protect babies against many infections.

    • Breastfeeding helps mothers and babies to bond.

    • Exclusive breastfeeding is an effective method of family planning.

    • Breastfeeding immediately after delivery makes the mother’s womb contract, and reduces bleeding; breastfeeding helps the mother to regain her pre-pregnancy weight; and reduces her risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

    • Breast milk costs less than formula, is always ready, and needs no preparation.

  4. How much salt should be added to an infant’s complementary foods? None. There is no need to add salt to an infant’s food because she or he needs very little salt even in hot climates.  The infant gets enough from breast milk (or formula) or family foods. Too much salt is harmful, and puts too much strain on young kidneys.