Infant and Young Child Feeding in the Developed and Developing Countries


Infant feeding challenges continue to manifest in developed and developing countries. Worldwide, more than 80% of babies are breastfed in the first few weeks of birth. However, about 37%, 25%, and less than 1% are exclusively breastfed at 6 months of age in Africa, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, respectively. These statistics are far below the World Health Organization targets of 50% and 70% by 2025 and 2030, respectively. Complementary feeding practices are varied as well due to nonadherence to Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) guidelines among parents. This accounts for the current trends in malnutrition in children under−5 years of age, adolescents, and the youth, and leads to intergenera- tion malnutrition. In this chapter we have included sections on appropriate infant feeding; including how to initiate breastfeeding in the first hour of birth, how to exclusively breastfeed infants until 6 months of age, how to complement breastfeed- ing after 6 months of infant’s age as well as continuing to breastfeed until 24 months of age and even beyond. Furthermore, we have included a description of how mothers who are unable to breastfeed can feed their infants on expressed breastmilk or replace breastmilk with appropriate homemade or commercial formula. This chapter as well covers infant feeding in prematurity.



Breastfeeding, Diet, Feeding, Infant, Nutrition, and Young child