The Institute of Medicine provides strong support for breastfeeding

The Institute of Medicine continues to demonstrate strong support for breastfeeding in two recently-released reports. Advocates may wish to secure both documents for use in their efforts to integrate stronger breastfeeding support into healthcare provider, hospital, governmental, and insurance policies.

Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies
This report contains a section on creating healthier behaviors as one of a number of interventions to reduce childhood obesity. It states that, “In addition to promoting physical activity among young children, caretakers also should pay careful attention to how they feed children. Children’s food preferences can develop as early as infancy. While research suggests that breastfeeding is associated with a reduced obesity risk for children, many hospitals and healthcare professionals do not provide sufficient information about or support for breastfeeding. Without the benefit of outside advice or resources, mothers are less likely to start breastfeeding or may stop earlier than is recommended. Because of the health benefits conveyed through breastfeeding, the committee recommends that adults who work with infants and their families promote and support breastfeeding exclusively for six months and continued in conjunction with solid foods for one year or more.”

See for a summary as well as the full report.

Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 has a strong focus on prevention. At the request of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Institute of Medicine reviewed what preventive services are important to women’s health and well-being and then provided recommendations regarding which of these should be considered in the development of comprehensive guidelines. These new guidelines approved by HHS will ensure that women receive selected preventive health services at no additional cost. The new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance, or a deductible. New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012. The breastfeeding recommendation requires, “Comprehensive lactation support and counseling and costs of renting breastfeeding equipment. A trained provider should provide counseling services to all pregnant women and to those in the postpartum period to ensure the successful initiation and duration of breastfeeding.”

For more information and the full report, see




Still Selling Out Mothers and Babies: Marketing of Breat Milk Substitutes in the USA
The updated US Country report, published in 2007 for the 25th anniversary of the Code, demonstrates continued Code violations. 68 pages order here