AAP Update on Breastfeeding
The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated its guidance on breastfeeding.
The recommendation is still exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months before introducing solids. But the AAP now also wants pediatricians to support breastfeeding for two years or more — up from one year. The potential benefits for babies: lower rates of respiratory tract infections, obesity, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome.
Is this supposed to be their solution to the formula shortage?
No. But it wouldn’t be the first time somebody suggested moms ‘just breastfeed’ as if it’s no big deal. Just because breast milk doesn’t come with a literal price tag, doesn’t mean it’s ‘free.’ One doctor said breastfeeding is only free “if you value a mom’s time and energy at zero.” And for many others, breastfeeding just isn’t possible.
So...is the AAP acknowledging these challenges?
Yes. And it wants pediatricians to advocate for policies like paid leave, flexible work schedules, and on-site child care to help support breastfeeding. The AAP knows it isn’t realistic for many parents. But the group wants to also support those who choose to breastfeed longer. The recommendations bring the US up to speed with the World Health Organization's.
Stay tuned for more updates. For more information, visit the AAP website.
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- The Baby Whisperers