1. Gartner, Sally L. RNC, CBC

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Jeannette Crenshaw states that exclusive breastfeeding means using breast milk and water, with no other liquids or solids. But exclusive breastfeeding means breast milk only. 1 Lactation advocates have worked hard over the last few years to dispel the myth that breastfeeding should be routinely supplemented with anything in the first six months of life. Occasionally, it becomes medically necessary to give some sort of supplement, but this is rare.


The second point is in the accompanying piece, "The Evidence Is In: Breastfeeding Benefits." Under the section titled "Socioeconomic gains," it's stated that breastfeeding can help save money for families even when the potential costs of pump equipment and extra food for the mother are factored in. While the mother is encouraged to have sound and proper nutrition, no extra or special food is required. The same principles of good nutrition apply to the nursing mother as to the rest of the family. 2 While good, sound nutrition is ideal, one only needs to look at poorer countries to see that even mothers with less-than-perfect diets still make adequate, good quality milk for their babies.


Sally L. Gartner, RNC, CBC


Coshocton, OH




1. Gartner LM, et al. American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics 2005;115(2):496-506. [Context Link]


2. Mohrbacher N, et al. The Breastfeeding Answer Book. 3rd ed. Schaumberg, IL: La Leche League International; 2003. [Context Link]