Promotion of Breastfeeding

Breast milk is the optimal food for infants. In its policy statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics states "Pediatricians and other health care professionals should recommend human milk for all infants in whom breastfeeding is not specifically contraindicated and provide parents with complete, current information on the benefits and techniques of breastfeeding to ensure that their feeding decision is a fully informed one."

As a health care provider, you are an important source of information for pregnant women and new parents. Your support can make a difference in a woman's decision to continue breastfeeding. Some ways you can help:

  • Encourage and support mothers in your practice to believe that they can breastfeed successfully, and connect them with resources (lactation consultants, WIC clinics, peer counselors) to make sure they have support in resolving any issues that come up.
  • Be sure you and your staff have up-to-date training in supporting nursing mothers and babies.
  • Provide information about the benefits of breastfeeding, and encourage the mother to make a conscious choice ahead of time to breastfeed her baby.
  • If issues do arise, provide a clear management timetable that supports resolving them and continuing to breastfeed when possible.

Relevant journal articles

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