Q: I understand there are breastfeeding guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Can you tell me about those guidelines or where to get a copy of them?
A: The American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines are excellent, and demonstrate a true commitment to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Among other things the new guidelines recommend:
- Breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, preferably within the first hour of life
- Rooming-in for moms and babies after birth
- Breastfeeding on cue – looking to the baby for signs that he needs to nurse
- Only giving supplements (water or formula) if medically necessary
- Encouraging moms to express or pump their milk if they can’t nurse directly
- Breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months or so, and that breastfeeding should continue for at least 12 months, and then as long afterwards as Mom and Baby wish
- A trained observer should evaluate breastfeeding during the first 24 to 48 hours after delivery, with a follow-up visit 48 to 72 hours later.
You can read the entire policy, complete with references, on the AAP Web site.
By Melissa Clark Vickers
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Moms & Babies Huntingdon, Tenn.