- Exclusive breastfeeding means feeding your baby ONLY breast milk for the first 6 months.
- Breast milk provides all the food and water that your baby needs during the first 6 months of life.
- Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months protects your baby from many illnesses, such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
- When you exclusively breastfeed your baby during the first 6 months and have no menses, you are protected from another pregnancy.
- Mixed feeding means feeding your baby both breast milk and any other foods or liquids, including infant formula, animal milks, or water.
- Mixed feeding before 6 months can damage your baby’s stomach.
- Mixed feeding increases the chances that your baby will suffer from illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia, and from malnutrition.
- Giving your baby foods or any kind of liquids other than breast milk, including infant formula, animal milks, or water before 6 months can damage your baby’s stomach. This reduces the protection that exclusive breastfeeding gives, and all of the benefits that your baby gets from your breast milk.
Note for community worker: If a mother is HIV-infected, refer to Counselling Cards 23a and 23b or the 3 Special Circumstance Cards for information on HIV and infant feeding.
Objects - Cup of water - 01E - Non-country specific by UNICEF/URC-CHS
Objects - Bottle - 05 - Non-country specific by UNICEF/URC-CHS
Food - Meals - 00H - Non-country specific by UNICEF/URC-CHS
People - Healthy baby 6-24 mo - 00B - Non-country specific by UNICEF/URC-CHS