10:03am Tuesday 15 October 2019

Why Does The New York Times Rely on Opinion Instead of Evidence When it Comes to Breastfeeding?

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, an international physician’s organization, supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation for breastfeeding for six months after birth and emphasizes the proven health benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers.

The author of The New York Times article, Alissa Quart, who criticized polarizing messages about breastfeeding and questioned the evidence linking breastfeeding with differences in health outcomes for mothers and their children did not quote any scientists or epidemiologists who have studied this field and did not cite any evidence-based literature reviews.

Expectant mothers and their health care providers deserve accurate information and evidence-based recommendations and education on which they can base informed decisions about infant feeding.  Breastfeeding may be the best option for infants, but it is not without challenges. Yet major public health strategies have been broadly adopted to make it easier, and these include: The Affordable Care Act; The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding; and The Institute of Medicine’s Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation.

We need paid maternity leave, on-site daycare, policies for babies-at-work, and barring those options, access to pumps so that mothers do not have to choose between earning a living and nurturing their children.

And we need journalists writing about breastfeeding to treat it as a real public health issue, not another round in the media-generated “mommy wars.” 


About the Academy
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is a global organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation through education, research, and advocacy.  An independent, self-sustaining, international physician organization and the only organization of its kind, the Academy’s mission is to unite members of various medical specialties through physician education, expansion of knowledge in breastfeeding science and human lactation, facilitation of optimal breastfeeding practices, and encouragement of the exchange of information among organizations.  It promotes the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines. The Academy has prepared clinical protocols for the care of breastfeeding mothers and infants that are available on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) National Guideline Clearinghouse website.

About the Journal
Breastfeeding Medicine, the Official Journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, is an authoritative, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published bimonthly in print and online. The Journal publishes original scientific papers, reviews, and case studies on a broad spectrum of topics in lactation medicine. It presents evidence-based research advances and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including the epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, 140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215
(800) 990.4ABM (914) 740.2115 Fax: (914) 740.2101 www.bfmed.org abm@bfmed.org

Contact: Karla Shepard Rubinger, Executive Director, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine,
(914) 740-2100, ext. 2153, abm@bfmed.org

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