13 November 2009

Following AAP, the American Dietetic Association Supports Exclusive Breastfeeding For 6 Months

According to a recent policy report released by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), breastfeeding provides health advantages to both mothers and babies; thus, the use of human milk for infant feeding should be advanced and applauded.

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that exclusive breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and health protection for the first 6 months of life, and breastfeeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. Breastfeeding is an important public health strategy for improving infant and child morbidity and mortality and improving maternal morbidity and helping to control health care costs,” the ADA stated in a press release.

The recommendations of the ADA mimic the breastfeeding policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months after birth, continuous breastfeeding for at least 12 months after birth, and thereafter as long as mutually desired (AAP, 2005).

The authors of the policy report developed a science-based examination on the framework of breastfeeding customs and health advantages in the United States and in other nations. They determined that human milk supplies superlative nutrient content for very young children and weakens the possibility of developing multiple serious and enduring conditions.

The health advantages for babies include:

- A sound immune system

- Reduced possibility of developing asthma, lower respiratory tract complications and gastroenteritis

- Elevated defense against allergies and sensitivities

- Appropriate growth of teeth and jaw

- Correlation with increased IQ and improved educational achievement

- Decreased risk for SIDS, as well as recurrent illnesses, including weight issues, diabetes, heart problems, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and childhood cancer

The ADA suggests that dietetic specialists and registered dietitians maintain a critical role in endorsing and fostering breastfeeding for its health advantages for children and families. Additionally, dietary professionals also have a crucial position in administering pragmatic research on breastfeeding-related matters. The authors suggest that more research on breastfeeding promotion campaigns is of particularly high priority.

For more information on the current Shelby County breastfeeding campaign, please contact Dr. Julie Ware (President of the Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition) at julieware2@bellsouth.net. The Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition is a county-wide collaboration that aims to implement national breastfeeding policy recommendations. The collaborative consists of nine organizations and represents a partnership between the public and private sectors, as well as uniting the community with medical, academic, public health, research, and business groups.

For more information on the well-being of young children in Memphis and Shelby County, please visit The Urban Child Institute at http://www.theurbanchildinstitute.org/Home.

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2005). Policy statement: Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics, 115 (2).

Breastfeeding benefits moms and babies: Report. (2009, November 6). Healthday: Yahoo!News.

1 comment:

Susan said...

thanks for sharing! This is further support for the importance of recommending breastfeeding for the health of both moms and babies.