(“母乳喂养有利于提高婴儿智力、有利于防止婴儿肥胖、有利于增强婴儿免疫力；此外，母乳喂养对妈妈的产后恢复也利处一大把……” 以上话语出自国家卫生部。在世界母乳喂养周（8月1日－7日）期间，卫生部开展大规模的母乳喂养宣传活动，广泛普及婴幼儿喂养知识。) China has launched a campaign to persuade more women to breast feed, worried that Chinese babies' development lags developed countries because they are not fed properly in their first months of life.
The government is also worried about the growing use of powdered baby milk formula -- which many Chinese believe is more "modern" and better for the baby.
"Breast milk is a necessary and ideal food for a baby, and the nutrients it contains are the most suitable for the baby's digestion and nourishment," the Health Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement on its Web site (www.moh.gov.cn).
"For mothers, breast feeding is beneficial to post-partum recuperation ," it added, without saying what the breast-feeding rate was in China.
Chinese babies put on less weight in their first six months than babies in developed countries, the ministry said.
"The main reason is parents lack scientific knowledge about feeding," it said, adding that problems caused by poor baby nutrition might include mental retardation .
There was a particular problem in the countryside, where parents did not know when or how to best start introducing solid food to babies or how to balance their nutritional requirements, the ministry said.
Studies around the world have shown that breast-feeding has many advantages for children including reducing infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea.
Other studies have shown that babies who are breast-fed for the first six months of life grow better without getting too fat.
A woman breastfeeds her baby in Bordeaux, southwest France April 27, 2006.