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Breastfeeding Promotion

Nature designed human milk for human babies; it provides infants with the best source of nourishment for healthy growth and development and is associated with a decreased risk of infant morbidity, infant mortality, and maternal morbidity. More than 80% of women in the US initiate breastfeeding, but only 25% are breastfeeding at six months. State and federal laws are in place to protect a woman's right to breastfeed, to breastfeed in public, and to express breastmilk in the workplace.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Complimentary appropriate foods should be introduced around six months of age. The AAP adopted a new policy in support of continued breastfeeding until two years of age or longer if desired by mother and child.

The decision to breastfeed is an important one, and new moms and parents should feel comfortable seeking peer and professional support. The Arkansas Breastfeeding Help Line, sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Health and Baptist Health, is a free service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 800-445-6175 to speak to a certified lactation consultant.

Increasing breastfeeding rates is a national priority, and improvement to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding continues to be a need in Arkansas. AFMC is working with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to promote best practices for increasing breastfeeding success as part of our larger effort to improve maternal and child health statewide.

Breastfeeding Promotion: Physicians’ Office Strategies for Success

Breastfeeding Promotion: Inpatient Strategies for Success

Web Resources

Reviewed and Revised March 2023

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