Letters to the Editor

Promoting Breastfeeding


Am Fam Physician. 2002 Apr 15;65(8):1521-1522.

to the editor: We would like to commend Dr. Sinusas and Ms. Gagliardi for their excellent article on breastfeeding.1 They describe ways for family physicians to facilitate the early initiation and long-term success of breastfeeding in their patients.

The authors suggest the use of the “Ten Steps” of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative of WHO/UNICEF to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding.2 A Baby-Friendly hospital should also adhere to the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions.3 The code seeks to protect breastfeeding by preventing inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes, feeding bottles, soothers, and complimentary foods when used to replace breast milk.4  To provide an optimal environment for breastfeeding, family physicians and pediatricians should follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) listed in the accompanying table5 and ensure that their offices are breastfeeding-friendly.4

Role of Physicians in Promoting and Protecting Breastfeeding

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1. Sinusas K, Gagliardi A. Initial management of breastfeedind. Am Fam Physician. 2001;64:981–8....

2. Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding: the special role of maternity services. A joint WHO/UNICEF statement. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1990;31(Suppl 1)171–83.

3. World Health Organization. International code of marketing of breast-milk substitutes. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1981.

4. Leung AK, Sauve RS. Breast is best for babies: Part 2. Can J Diagn. 2001;18:65–73.

5. American Academy of Pediatrics. Work Group on Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. 1997;100:1035–9.

Send letters to afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680. Include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



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