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Cleveland Clinic Journal of MedicineA New Policy Update on Breastfeeding: What All Clinicians Need to Know

The policy emphasizes individualized support for mothers and infants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released an updated policy statement on breastfeeding, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive support for breastfeeding mothers and infants. The policy addresses clinicians across disciplines, urging them to increase their understanding of breastfeeding and their ability to support mothers and babies. This update builds on previous guidelines, incorporating new research and recommendations to improve infant and maternal health outcomes.

Key Points:

  • Exclusive breastfeeding is advocated for the first 6 months, with support for 2 years and beyond or as desired by the mother and baby.
  • Clinicians are urged to familiarize themselves with resources for determining the safety of medications, substances, and imaging.
  • Advocacy for better support for breastfeeding patients is highlighted to improve health outcomes and eliminate disparities.

Additional Points:

  • The policy includes new recommendations on duration, contraindications, special considerations, and advocacy beyond pediatrics.
  • Societal agreement is noted with organizations such as the CDC, WHO, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
  • The guidelines may be difficult to apply in settings with limited resources or varying cultural norms.


  • The AAP’s updated policy on breastfeeding emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on enhanced communication, support, and understanding of breastfeeding, with the goal of improving both infant and maternal health.

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Did You Know?
Research has shown that cumulative breastfeeding time correlates inversely with maternal risk of breast, ovarian, endometrial, and thyroid cancer.

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