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SFDA: Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer


Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) indicated that breastfeeding reduces the child’s risk of respiratory and digestive infections, prevents anemia, obesity, and diabetes, and reduces the risk of some types of cancers, infections, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). it also reduces the risk of anemia for the mother, helps return the uterus to its normal size, maintains an ideal weight, reduces weight gain, especially after childbirth, and reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and osteoporosis.

SFDA indicated that infant formula used from birth is suitable for infants throughout the first year of their life, and there is no need to change from infant formula to follow-on milk. After completing the first year, it is preferable to start giving children whole milk from sources such as cow's milk and goat's milk after pasteurization, in addition to the appropriate complementary foods.

As for the methods of preparing such products, SFDA said that there is no water designated for preparing breast-milk substitutes, and tap water or bottled drinking water can be used after boiling it for a minute and leaving it to cool until it reaches a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius and avoiding boiling water more than once.

SFDA issued an awareness guide on breast-milk substitutes, showing the types of manufactured substitutes, the most important differences between them, their uses, methods of preparation, and the best ways to store them. The guide also clarified the methods of cleaning and sterilizing the tools used in the preparation, and included an indicative table on the amount of milk the infant and child daily need.

SFDA obliged manufacturers and importers of breast-milk substitutes to put phrases on the label that include a clear message that can be read easily, such as the phrase "Breast milk is the best food for your child" or any similar phrase that encourages breastfeeding. It also obligated to put a phrase explaining that the product should be used only after consulting a specialized doctor and when needed in the appropriate way for use. SFDA also prohibited the use of pictures or graphics or placing advertisements or text on the label for these products that encourage the use of the product and the abandonment of breastfeeding. It also required to put storage and preservation data on the label of the package.