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[Correspondence] Breastfeeding in the 21st century

The Lancet’s Series on breastfeeding1,2 has shown the nutritional, immunological, and developmental inferiority of breastmilk substitutes, and the contribution of breastfeeding to the survival and health of children and their mothers in all countries. It does not, however, address the needs of the infants most vulnerable to nutritional, immune system, growth, and developmental compromise; those born preterm, growth retarded, or who are sick. These infants and their mothers need special protection and support to enable breastfeeding and feeding with breastmilk, yet paradoxically they are often denied rights normally accepted unconditionally for full term infants.