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The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding review, background and meeting report, WHO

Author: WHO 2001 & 2002, WHA Res 54 2001
Year: 2001
Resource type: Article
  1. Nutrient adequacy of exclusive breastfeeding for the term infant during the first 6 months of life. Butte NF, lopez-Azarcon MG, Graza C. WHO, 2002. Review and background document for the WHO expert consultation  - the report of which is below 'The Optimal Duration of Exclusive Breastfeeding'
  2. The Optimal Duration of Exclusive Breastfeeding - A systematic review.Contents: These documents summarise and review studies comparing the effects of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months versus exclusive breastfeeding for 3-4 months on child health, growth and development, and on maternal health. Full text in English available at:

The above material formed the background for an expert consultation on the issue: 'The Optimal Duration of Exclusive Breastfeeding' Report of an expert consultation. 2001. WHO/FCH/CAH/01.24. Full text in English available at:

This then led to WHA Resolution 54, 1st May 2001 stating that exclusive breastfeeding should be for 6 full months, or up to 6 months of age.


optimal-duration-of-exc-bfeeding-review-eng-who.pdf (PDF, 1.0mb)

review-background-report-on-why-6-month-exc-b-feeding-who-2002.pdf (PDF, 276kb)

who-cah-01-24-report-on-why-6-months-exc-b-feeding.pdf (PDF, 72kb)

wha-res-54-on-6-month-exc-breastfeeding.pdf (PDF, 20kb)

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WHO 2001 & 2002, WHA Res 54 2001 (2001). The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding review, background and meeting report, WHO.



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