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Health Tip: Update on Breast-feeding

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics issued

TUESDAY, March 1, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Getting ready for the birth of a baby is an exciting, yet busy, time. Among the many tasks for mothers-to-be are choosing a name, picking out baby supplies, and deciding how to feed the infant.

Before deciding on breast or bottle, consider these new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Exclusive breast-feeding is suggested for about the first six months, and the academy supports breast-feeding for at least the first year.
  • Mother and infant should sleep in proximity to each other to facilitate breast-feeding.
  • Self-examination of mother's breasts for lumps is recommended throughout lactation, not just after weaning.
  • Pediatricians should counsel adoptive mothers on the benefits of induced lactation through hormonal therapy or mechanical stimulation.
  • A pediatrician or other knowledgeable and experienced health-care professional should evaluate a newborn breast-fed infant at 3-to-5 days of age and again at 2-to-3 weeks of age to be sure the infant is feeding and growing well.
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