New AAP Recommendations

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2005
New AAP Recommendations
Tue, 02-08-2005 - 2:07pm


Below is a news release on a policy statement appearing in the the
February issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal
of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

For Release: February 7, 2005, 12:01 am (ET)

CHICAGO - A long-time advocate of breastfeeding, the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP) is issuing a revised policy statement
on "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk" to replace its existing
policy developed in 1997. The new recommendations reflect new
research on the importance of breastfeeding.

Studies on infants provide evidence that breastfeeding can decrease
the incidence or severity of conditions such as diarrhea, ear
infections and bacterial meningitis. Some studies also suggest that
breastfeeding may offer protection against sudden infant death
syndrome (SIDS), diabetes, obesity and asthma among others.

Research indicates that breastfeeding can reduce a mother's risk of
several medical conditions, including ovarian and breast cancer, and
possibly a decreased risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis in the
postmenopausal period. Increased breastfeeding also has the potential
for decreasing annual health costs in the U.S. by $3.6 billion and
decreasing parental employee absenteeism, the environmental burden
for disposal of formula cans and bottles, and energy demands for
production and transport of formula.

Although breastfeeding initiation rates have increased steadily since
1990, exclusive (no water, juice, nonhuman milk or food)
breastfeeding rates have shown little or no increase over the same
period of time. Similarly, the proportion of infants who are
exclusively breastfed until about six months of age has increased at
a much slower rate than that of infants who received mixed feedings
(breast milk plus infant formula).

The policy recommendations include:

*Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and
support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as
mutually desired by mother and child.
*Mother and infant should sleep in proximity to each other to
facilitate breastfeeding;
*Self-examination of mother's breasts for lumps is recommended
throughout lactation, not just after weaning;
*Support efforts of parents and the courts to ensure continuation of
breastfeeding in cases of separation, custody and visitation;
*Pediatricians should counsel adoptive mothers on the benefits of
induced lactation through hormonal therapy or mechanical stimulation.
*Recognize and work with cultural diversity in breastfeeding
*A pediatrician or other knowledgeable and experienced health care
professional should evaluate a newborn breastfed infant at 3 to 5
days of age and again at 2 to 3 weeks of age to be sure the infant is
feeding and growing well.