THE National Food and Nutrition Centre is encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies as this will help reduce the chances of serious illnesses such as respiratory infections, vomiting and diarrhoea in their infants.
NFNC and the Ministry of Health have taken on the theme act against anaemia in this month's National Nutrition Month.
"Breastfeeding should begin within an hour of birth and the babies should have only breast milk for the first six months of life," a NFNC statement said.
"Studies have shown that an average during the first year of life, breastfed babies have much lower need for the attention of a physician than bottle-fed babies."
NFNC will focus on iron deficiency anaemia this month in the hope of reducing anaemia threats to child-bearing women and children under two years.
"Women of child-bearing age (15-49 years) and children under two years old have the highest rates of anaemia in Fiji.
"Increasing the number of infants who are breastfed will help bring down the rates of anaemia," the statement added.
NFNC also said breastfeeding was a sound financial decision with the price of milk formulas increasing and convenient for the baby and the mother.
National Nutrition Month has sub-themes which include breastfeed your baby from August 1-10, grow and eat iron rich-foods for August 11-25 and take your iron supplements from August 26-31.