There are many maternal and fetal benefits to breastfeeding yet many women find multiple barriers to successful breastfeeding. Both ACOG and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding the first 6 months. Childhood benefits to breastfeeding include decreased rate of infections, decreased rates of obesity, and decreased rates of sudden infant death syndrome. Maternal benefits include decreased risk of metabolic syndrome and decreased rates of ovarian and breast cancer as well as better birth spacing. Below, we summarize how to optimize support and address barriers to breastfeeding.
Initiation and Continuation of Breastfeeding
Education and Support
The Relevant Intrapartum Components for Clinicians and Nurses Include:
Note: The WHO’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (see ‘Learn More – Primary Sources’) leads to higher rates of initiation and continuation of breastfeeding, as well as lowered racial inequities between rates
Hospital Barriers to Breastfeeding
Societal Barriers to Breastfeeding
ACOG Committee Opinion 821: Barriers to Breastfeeding: Supporting Initiation and Continuation of Breastfeeding
ACOG Committee Opinion 756: Optimizing Support for Breastfeeding as Part of Obstetric Practice
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
NIH: Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)
WHO: Ten steps to successful breastfeeding
ROBE Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere
National Medical Association: Breastfeeding
HHS (Office of Women’s Health): It’s Only Natural
Black Mothers Breast Feeding Association
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