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Breastfeeding News and Initiatives

AAP Policy Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk

Click here for the *new* American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk


Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant
feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice. The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant. Medical contraindications to breastfeeding are rare. Infant growth should be monitored with the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Curve Standards to avoid mislabeling infants as underweight or failing to thrive. Hospital routines to encourage and support the initiation and sustaining of exclusive breastfeeding should be based on the American Academy of Pediatrics-endorsed WHO/UNICEF “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.” National strategies supported by the US Surgeon General’s Call to Action, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Joint Commission are involved to facilitate breastfeeding practices in US hospitals and communities. Pediatricians play a critical role in their practices and communities as advocates of breastfeeding and thus should be knowledgeable about the health risks of not breastfeeding, the economic benefits to society of breastfeeding, and the techniques for managing and supporting the breastfeeding dyad. The “Business Case for Breastfeeding” details how mothers can maintain lactation in the workplace and the benefits to employers who facilitate this practice.
Pediatrics 2012;129:e827–e841

Surgeon General's Call to Action

Please click here for the full text of the Surgeon Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding

From the Forward:

For nearly all infants, breastfeeding is the best source of infant nutrition and immunologic protection, and it provides remarkable health benefits to mothers as well. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to become overweight and obese. Many mothers in the United States want to breastfeed, and most try. And yet within only three months after giving birth, more than two thirds of breastfeeding mothers have already begun using formula. By six months postpartum, more than half of mothers have given up on breastfeeding, and mothers who breastfeed one-year olds or toddlers are a rarity in our society.

October 2010 marked the 10th anniversary of the release of the HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding, in which former Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., reiterated the commitment of previous Surgeons General to support breastfeeding as a public health goal. This was the first comprehensive framework for national action on breastfeeding. It was created through collaboration among representatives from medical, business, women’s health, and advocacy groups as well as academic communities. The Blueprint provided specific action steps for the health care system, researchers, employers, and communities to better protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

I have issued this Call to Action because the time has come to set forth the important roles and responsibilities of clinicians, employers, communities, researchers, and government leaders and to urge us all to take on a commitment to enable mothers to meet their personal goals for breastfeeding. Mothers are acutely aware of and devoted to their responsibilities when it comes to feeding their children, but the responsibilities of others must be identified so that all mothers can obtain the information, help, and support they deserve when they breastfeed their infants. Identifying the support systems that are needed to help mothers meet their personal breastfeeding
goals will allow them to stop feeling guilty and alone when problems with breastfeeding arise. All too often, mothers who wish to breastfeed encounter daunting challenges in moving through the health care system. Furthermore, there is often an incompatibility between employment and breastfeeding, but with help this is not impossible to overcome. Even so, because the barriers can
seem insurmountable at times, many mothers stop breastfeeding. In addition, families are often unable to find the support they need in their communities to make breastfeeding work for them.From a societal perspective, many research questions related to breastfeeding remain unanswered, and for too long, breastfeeding has received insufficient national attention as a public health issue.

This Call to Action describes in detail how different people and organizations can contribute to the health of mothers and their children. Rarely are we given the chance to make such a profound and lasting difference in the lives of so many. I am confident that this Call to Action will spark countless imaginative, effective, and mutually supportive endeavors that improve support for breastfeeding
mothers and children in our nation.

Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A.
Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service
Surgeon General

Statewide Breastfeeding Initiaves


Business Case for Breastfeeding

Please click here for the  Business Case for Breastfeeding Toolkit



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