Position Papers

American Dietetic Association: Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding November 2009 (Vol. 109, Issue 11, Pages 1926-1942)

ABSTRACT: It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) that exclusive breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and health protection for the first six months of life, and breastfeeding with complementary foods for at least 12 months is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. Breastfeeding is also a public health strategy for improving infant and child health survival, improving maternal morbidity, controlling health care costs, and conserving natural resources. ADA emphasizes the essential role of dietetics professionals in promoting and supporting breastfeeding by providing up-to-date, practical information to pregnant and postpartum women, involving family and friends in breastfeeding education and counseling, removing institutional barriers to breastfeeding, collaborating with community organizations and others who promote and support breastfeeding and advocating for policies that position breastfeeding as the norm for infant feeding. ADA also emphasizes its own role by providing up-to-date information to the public, encouraging empirical research, providing continuing education opportunities, providing cultural sensitivity and cultural competence training to dietetics professionals and encouraging universities to review and update undergraduate and graduate training programs.