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Breastfeeding Home > Resources > Breastfeeding Resource Handbook Table of Contents > Organizations’ Statements about Breastfeeding Organizations’ Statements about Breastfeeding

American Academy of Pediatrics
“Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth... Gradual introduction of iron-enriched solid foods in the second half of the first year should complement the breastmilk diet. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
“Breastfeeding is a natural function: nearly every woman can breastfeed her child… The ACOG recommends that exclusive breastfeeding be continued until the infant is about 6 months old… The professional objectives are to encourage and enable as many women as possible to breastfeed and to help them continue as long as possible.”

American Dietetic Association
“It is the position of The American Dietetic Association (ADA) that public health and clinical efforts to promote breastfeeding should be sustained and strengthened. ADA strongly encourages the promotion and advocacy of activities that support longer duration of successful breastfeeding, in order to optimize the indisputable nutritional, immunological, psychological, and economic benefits.” National initiation rates have increased, but few infants are being breastfed beyond 1 to 2 months of age. ... “The next challenge is to communicate the importance of sustained exclusive breastfeeding for 4 to 6 months and, optimally, breastfeeding with weaning foods for at least 12 months.”

Innocenti Declaration
“...all women should be enabled to practice exclusive breastfeeding and all infants should be fed exclusively on breastmilk from birth to 4 to 6 months of age. Thereafter, children should continue to be breastfed, while receiving appropriate and adequate complementary foods, for up to two years of age or beyond.”

International Lactation Consultant Association
“...almost all women are physically capable of nourishing their infants on breastmilk alone for the first half-year.” “...adolescents should be encouraged to breastfeed.” “...obstetric medication and anesthesia interfere with the innate feeding behavior of the infant, hence,...such medication should be used as sparingly as is compatible with maternal and infant health.” “...the duration of human lactation worldwide is two or more years, and ...both mothers and their older children benefit from prolonged breastfeeding.”

US Department of Health and Human Services: Office on Women’s Health
“Infants should be exclusively breastfed during the first 4 to 6 months of life, preferably for a full 6 months. Ideally, breastfeeding should continue through the first year of life. This Blueprint for Action reaffirms the scientific evidence that breastfeeding is the best method for feeding most newborns, and that breastfeeding is beneficial to the infant’s and the mother’s health”

World Health Organization
“to strengthen activities and develop new approaches to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for six months as a global public health recommendation, taking into account the findings of the WHO expert consultation on optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding, and to provide safe and appropriate complementary foods, with continued breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond, emphasizing channels of social dissemination of these concepts in order to lead communities to adhere to these practices”

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