Guding Principles for Infant Feeding

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Guding Principles for Infant Feeding
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 3:29pm

• Health professionals, government, and the private sector have an obligation to develop and communicate positive,

factual information about the importance of breastfeeding.

• The health community, governments, and industry are obligated to make concerted efforts to increase breastfeeding

rates, with particular emphasis on known deterrents to continued breastfeeding (e.g., limited workplace support facilities

and programs) and the unique needs of those population sub-groups at risk for health disparities and lower breastfeeding


• Parents and caregivers have the right to choose the best feeding options for their babies and themselves, given their life

circumstances. As the World Health Organization has stated, “Women have the right to proper nutrition, to decide how to

feed their children and to full information and appropriate conditions that will enable them to carry out their decisions.”

• Infant formula manufacturers have an obligation to develop and communicate factual information about infant formula

products. This supports the Food and Drug Association’s Strategic Priority that “Consumers have access to accurate,

science-based information about the products they need and rely on every day.” (FDA’s Strategic Priorities, available at:


• Breastfeeding is the ideal and recommended first choice for infant feeding; it offers specific child and maternal health


• For mothers who cannot or choose not to breastfeed or fully breastfeed, infant formula is the only safe, nutritious, and

recommended alternative. Infant formula manufacturers have an obligation to develop and innovate quality infant

formula products that reflect current nutrition science to promote healthy growth and development.

• Parents and caregivers have the right to accurate information about all appropriate infant feeding options and to be

supported whether they choose to breastfeed, formula feed, or mixed feed (breast feeding supplemented with infant

formula) their infant.

• During the first year of life, an infant is exposed to many foods and eating experiences that lay the foundation for lifelong

nutritional habits. Focusing on optimal health of the infant, rather than infant feeding method, is essential to help ensure

that those habits are healthy.

• Infant formula is a safe, nutritious and recommended feeding option for non-breast-fed infants. If parents are discouraged

from using infant formula, they may resort to inferior methods of infant feeding which can cause serious nutritional

deficiencies and put their infant’s health at risk.