140.008 Breastfeeding and Human Milk

140.008

Breastfeeding and Human Milk: The Texas Medical Association (TMA) supports breastfeeding and the provision of human milk as critical components of optimal infant and maternal health. TMA recommends every infant be exclusively breastfed or fed exclusively human milk for a minimum of six months and continue to breastfeed or be fed human milk for at least one year unless a maternal or infant contraindication exists. TMA recognizes it is especially important preterm and sick term infants (such as those in the neonatal intensive care unit) also receive human milk. Options for these high risk infants should include breastfeeding, expressed human milk from their mother, or donor human milk from a milk bank.

Every mother, particularly in situations in which early initiation of breastfeeding is not practicable, such as infant prematurity or illness, should be taught techniques of milk expression (hand, manual, and/or electric pump) and offered the use of equipment as needed. When exclusive use of mother’s own milk is not possible, the risks and benefits of donor human milk and formula should be discussed.

TMA supports Texas Department of State Health Services initiatives to promote breastfeeding in healthcare facilities and supports the implementation of the World Health Organization/UNICEF efforts to promote successful breastfeeding, as well as the Joint Commission Perinatal Care core measures for exclusive breast milk feeding at all birthing facilities. The Texas Medical Association encourages all Texas hospitals providing maternity services to attain baby-friendly hospital status.

TMA encourages all physicians to promote and support breastfeeding as the normative standard of infant nutrition and recommends the education of patients during prenatal care on the benefits of breastfeeding. TMA supports eliminating formula promotional practices by health care professionals and health care facilities, and encourages perinatal care providers and hospitals to ensure physicians or other appropriately trained medical personnel distribute formula only as medically indicated or at the mother’s request. Patient education should continue during the postpartum period, and providers of pediatric care should ensure breastfeeding continues to be addressed at each visit. To better prepare physicians for their role in breastfeeding advocacy, TMA supports expansion of education on breastfeeding in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education curricula.

TMA supports the adoption of employer programs that allow breastfeeding mothers to express breast milk safely and privately at work or take time to feed their infants, and encourages public facilities to provide designated areas for breastfeeding and breast milk expression. (Amended CPH, p 150, A-96; amended CM-MPH Rep. 1-A-06; amended CM-MPH Rep. 1-A-13; amended CM-MPH Rep. 1-A-15).

Last Updated On

October 07, 2016