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ACOG Calls on Ob-Gyns, Health Care Professionals, Hospitals and Employers for Increased Support for Breastfeeding

January 31, 2007

Washington, DC -- In an effort to help increase the rate of breastfeeding in the US, today The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a Committee Opinion, "Breastfeeding: Maternal and Infant Aspects," emphasizing ACOG's strong support for breastfeeding and urging ob-gyns, other health care professionals, hospitals, and employers to support women in choosing to breastfeed their infants.

Breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants, and nearly every woman can breastfeed her child, according to ACOG. ACOG continues to recommend exclusive breastfeeding of infants until approximately 6 months of age, with longer periods being beneficial. Some exceptions to breastfeeding include women who take illegal drugs, have high alcohol intake, have HIV, have an infant with galactosemia, or have certain other infections.

Research that shows the many health benefits of breastfeeding to infants, women, families, and society continues to accumulate. Education and support for breastfeeding can improve breastfeeding rates for all women and would be a positive economic investment for both health plans and employers because there are lower rates of illness among infants who are breastfed.

Committee Opinion #361, "Breastfeeding: Maternal and Infant Aspects," is published in the February 2007 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the national medical organization representing over 51,000 members who provide health care for women.