Breastfeeding (Policy Statement)

Breastfeeding is the physiological norm for both mothers and their children. Breastmilk offers medical and psychological benefits not available from human milk substitutes. The AAFP recommends that all babies, with rare exceptions, be breastfed and/or receive expressed human milk exclusively for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods throughout the second half of the first year. Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired. Family physicians should have the knowledge to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding. (1989) (2012 COD)

Please refer to the AAFP's position paper on Breastfeeding for more information on the family physician's role in supporting breastfeeding. This paper reviews the evidence in support of breastfeeding, recommendations for clinical management of breastfeeding, the use of formula in breastfeeding infants, and resources for promoting a breastfeeding friendly office.