a1 Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, Children's Department, Cantabria University, E-39008 Santander, Spain
a2 Obispo Polanco Hospital, Children's Department, Teruel, Spain
a3 Fuente de San Luís, Public Health, Primary Care Centre, Valencia, Spain
Human milk is the best way to nurture the human infant. By breast-feeding their babies, mothers provide them with the best opportunities to wholly develop their potential, while protecting the infants and themselves from a whole range of diseases in the near future and in the years to come.
Even though these benefits are widely known and there is ample scientific evidence on the topic, it seems from published data that Spanish women are not breast-feeding their babies as much and for as long as they should. Less than 90% start breast-feeding, at 1 month there is already an attrition of 30%, at 3 months more than half of the infants are taking artificial milk and by 6 months only 10% continue to breast-feed their infants.
Low birth weight, Caesarean section and low study level are among the more significant factors that negatively affect breast-feeding.
There is still work to do to improve this situation. Promotion of breast-feeding among the general population, mothers and health professionals is needed.
† The authors are members of the Spanish Committee on Human Lactation, Spanish Paediatric Association.