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Maternal Implications of Breastfeeding: A Review for the Internist

      Abstract

      Breastfeeding seems to be a low-cost intervention that provides both short- and long-term health benefits for the breastfeeding woman. Interventions to support breastfeeding can increase its rate, exclusivity, and duration. Internists often have a longitudinal relationship with their patients and can be important partners with obstetricians and pediatricians in advocating for breastfeeding. To play their unique and critical role in breastfeeding promotion, internists need to be knowledgeable about breastfeeding and its maternal health benefits. In this paper, we review the short- and long-term maternal health benefits of breastfeeding. We also discuss special considerations in the care of breastfeeding women for the internist.

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