The beneficial health and economic impacts of breastfeeding are considerable. However the majority of babies in the UK are not exclusively breastfeeding by 6 weeks of age. The first few weeks of life are therefore a critical period to facilitate breastfeeding. Health professionals must have a thorough knowledge of normal breastfeeding patterns in order to minimise unnecessary interference, and an understanding of how to protect the breastfeeding relationship when medical problems occur.
- infant feeding
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Contributors IL wrote the first draft. Both authors revised the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests FO’B was on the working group for the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) Framework for Practice on Neonatal Hypoglycaemia in the Full Term Infant. IL is a trustee of a small charity providing community breastfeeding support (Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support).
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. The last paragraph in the box ’Case 1' has been moved to the end of the section titled ’Core principle: breastfeeding patterns in term, healthy babies'.