This report reviews research studies on the effects of breastfeeding on short- and long-term infant and maternal health. Health and nutrition coordinators may find this report useful when promoting breastfeeding.
Objectives: We reviewed the evidence on the effects of breastfeeding on short- and long-term infant and maternal health outcomes in developed countries.
Data Sources: We searched MEDLINE®, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library in November of 2005. Supplemental searches on selected outcomes were searched through May of 2006. We also identified additional studies in bibliographies of selected reviews and by suggestions from technical experts.
Review Methods: We included systematic reviews/meta-analyses, randomized and non-randomized comparative trials, prospective cohort, and case-control studies on the effects of breastfeeding and relevant outcomes published in the English language. Included studies must have a comparative arm of formula feeding or different durations of breastfeeding. Only studies conducted in developed countries were included in the updates of previous systematic reviews. The studies were graded for methodological quality. Breastfeeding, Maternal & Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries