Breastfeeding: Information for Healthcare Providers

Physicians play a central role in the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding.

What you should do

The American Academy of Pediatrics makes the following suggestions for how to have a breastfeeding friendly practice:

  • Display breastfeeding supportive signs and educational materials.
  • Avoid distributing free formula, coupons, or formula-sponsored promotional materials to pregnant patients and parents who have chosen to breastfeed.
  • Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life whenever possible and discourage inappropriate supplementation.
  • Advertise that you are a “breastfeeding friendly” practice and encourage  parents to breastfeed in the office.
  • Have a “triage” system in the office for all breastfeeding-related-inquiries.
  • Employ a lactation consultant in the office.
  • Have a room within the office space dedicated to “breastfeeding-related issues.”
  • Keep a stock of breastfeeding supplies for the patient .
  • Have breastfeeding reference books available, particularly one that describes compatibility of breastfeeding with the mother’s medications.
  • Have resources available  for community support groups.
  • Know the laws in your state about breastfeeding and/or expressing milk at work and be able to support the patients in your practice to continue to  breastfeed after returning to work or going back to school