Policies and Recommendations

A woman's ability to breastfeed for the optimal recommended time depends on the support she receives from her family, health care providers, and the workplace. Health care institutions should adopt policies and initiatives that include:

  • A written breastfeeding policy
  • A breastfeeding education program
  • Rooming-in of mother and child
  • Breastfeeding on demand
  • Limited use of pacifiers, water, and formula

With the increased number of women in the workforce, employers can do a lot to support and encourage breastfeeding, such as providing adequate breaks; flexible hours; job sharing; part-time work; refrigerators for storage of breast milk; and on-site child care.

A public health campaign can greatly increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding. These campaigns should target all social groups, including men, future parents, grandparents, health care providers, and employers. In addition, culturally appropriate programs and materials should hepatitis: liver inflammation cancer: uncontrolled cell growth immune system: the set of organs and cells, including white blood cells, that protect the body from infection toxins: poisons job sharing: splitting a single job among two or more people be available. Breastfeeding saves lives and money, and it benefits all of society. see also Beikost; Infant Nutrition; Mastitis; Pregnancy.

Delores C. S. James

Bibliography

James, Delores C.; Jackson, Robert T.; and Probart, Claudia K. (1994). "Factors Affecting Breastfeeding Prevalence and Duration among International Students."

Journal of the American Dietetic Association 94(2):194-196.

Worthington-Roberts, Bonnie S., and Rodwell-Williams, Sue (1993). Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation, 6th edition. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health (2000). HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Internet Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics. "A Woman's Guide to Breastfeeding." Available from <http://www.aap.org/>

Ryan, A. S. (1997). "The Resurgence of Breastfeeding in the United States." Pediatrics (online). Available from <http://www.pediatrics.org>

UNICEF. "Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding." Available from <http://www. childinfo.org/>

World Health Organization. "Global Databank on Breastfeeding." Available from <http://www.who.int/nut>

"The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they are fed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, whose culinary writings and passion for food distinguished him in Napoleonic France. [Photograph by Gianni Dagli Orti. Corbis. Reproduced by permission.]
New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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