Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh and Alexa Meyer

Published On


Page Range

pp. 63–70

2.4 Young Children and Infant Feeding Practices

Rate of Exclusive Breastfeeding, Early Breastfeeding Initiation and Complementary Feeding

This chapter is dedicated to the practice of breastfeeding in the region. Breastfeeding is the optimal nutrition for young children and during the first six months of life should be the only food given to the infant. However, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding of children up to 6 months varies widely between the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, ranging from 8 to 61.5%, showing the need to promote and protect breastfeeding. The proportion of children that were introduced to adequate complementary food at the age of 6 months was also insufficient in many countries. Overall, the findings from different nutrition surveys indicate a need to improve young child and infant feeding practices in the region.