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Kelly Corbett

New Guidelines Help Pediatricians Be 'Breastfeeding-Friendly'

Is your doctor doing his *breast*?
PUBLISHED ON 04/19/2017

Next time baby visits the doctor, you might notice some friendly changes. Thanks to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents will be milking only the best breastfeeding support from pediatricians during visits.

These new guidelines ask pediatricians to establish a written "breastfeeding-friendly" office practice and train staff on how to support breastfeeding mothers. Plus, all offices should have a lactation room for both breastfeeding staff and parents of patients.

There may also be a new face in office. Guidelines encourage clinicians to have at least one breastfeeding resource person on staff such as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, nurse or another staff member trained in lactation support. This new staff member will provide support under the guidance of a pediatrician.

To further foster feeding friendliness, the guidelines encourage clinicians to work within their communities to learn about breastfeeding firsthand. Local hospitals or birthing centers are suggested places to start to better get a grasp on breastfeeding-friendly care.

The guidelines also suggest:

  • The first newborn visit should be scheduled approximately 24 to 48 hours from the time the infant is discharged.
  • Mothers should be educated about which provisions of the Affordable Care Act cover access to breastfeeding support services.
  • mothers should be provided with guidance about returning to work and how breastfeeding could fit into that

According to AAP, moms should attempt breastfeeding for the first 6 months of baby’s life, followed by continual breastfeeding for 1 year or longer.

PHOTO: iStock