Infant Feeding Association 

Breast is best

The World Health Organisation (WHO*) has recommended that pregnant women and new mothers be informed on the benefits and superiority of breastfeeding -in particular, that it provides the best nutrition and protection from illness for babies.

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Who we are

The Infant Feeding Association of South Africa (IFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 to facilitate engagement with various stakeholders, including government, NGO’s and industry on infant and young child nutrition within South Africa.

The IFA provides a platform where the concerns of the infant and young child food industry can be voiced and lateral debate can be pursued with key stakeholders such as the Department of Health and Healthcare professionals amongst others with the ultimate goal of aligning the interests of all.

The IFA and its members are committed to the responsible and ethical marketing of products for infants and young children. Responsible and ethical marketing enables health workers to obtain accurate, science-based information, supports caregivers’ decisions to choose nutritious and healthy foods for their children, and promotes safe and appropriate use of nutritional products in a manner that protects breastfeeding.

Documents for our Good Governance


South African Regulations Pertaining to Foodstuffs for Infant and Young Children – R991


Advertising Regulatory Board code


World Health Organisation Code of Marketing Breastmilk substitutes Fact sheet for Health Care Professionals


World Health Organisation Code of Marketing Breastmilk substitutes


EU pledge

Breast is best

Mothers should be given guidance on the preparation for, and maintenance of lactation with special emphasis on the importance of a well-balanced diet both during pregnancy and after delivery. Unnecessary introduction of partial bottle feeding or other foods and drinks should be discouraged since it will be a negative effect on breastfeeding. Similarly, mothers should be warned of the difficulty of reversing a decision not to breastfeed.

Before advising mother to use an infant formula, she should be advised of the social and financial implications of her decision: for example, if a baby is exclusively bottle-fed, more than one can (450g) per week will be needed, so the family circumstances and costs should be kept in mind. Mothers should be reminded that breastmilk is not only the best, but also the most economical food for babies. If a decision to use an infant formula is taken, it is important to give instructions on correct preparation methods, emphasizing that unboiled water, unsterilised bottles or incorrect dilution can all lead to illness.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life. Consult your doctor for advice on when to introduce complementary foods to your baby. Breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible after introduction of complementary foods.

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