14.6.2 General principles of early and exclusive breastfeeding
For mothers who are HIV-negative:
- Babies should begin breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth (preferably within the first hour) and continue for at least the first 6 months of life.
- Colostrum, the first milk should be given to the baby, not thrown away.
- The baby should be breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life. Nothing else should be given to the baby to drink or eat during that time.
- The baby should be breastfeed whenever s/he wants, day and night (on demand), which stimulates the breasts to produce an adequate supply of breast milk.
You will learn how to advise mothers who are HIV-positive in Study Session 16 of this Module, on prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT).