Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Short-term effects of breastfeeding: a systematic review on the benefits of breastfeeding on diarrhoea and pneumonia mortality

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 54
Publication date: 2013
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 150612 0



This review and meta-analysis assesses the effect of breastfeeding on respiratory infections and diarrhoeal disease in children younger than 5 years of age. The literature search covered the period between 1966 and 2011. Breastfeeding decreased severity of diarrhoea. Hospitalization and mortality among breastfed infants were 72% and 77% lower respectively. Breastfeeding also reduced the risk of hospitalization and mortality due to respiratory infection.

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