April 17, 2013
Breastfeeding and the role of an IBCLC
Through the years there have been many debates about whether babies should be exclusively breastfed or not. Decisions include relying on the natural choice of breastfeeding or following the advice given by others such as relatives, doctors, pediatricians and infant formula manufacturers.Controversies have continued over many years but now that more and more mothers want to nurse their babies, formula company’s claim that their formula is equivalent to the real thing. Supporters of supplemented infant formulas claim their products include the same elements present in mother’s milk which will improve babies’ vision and cognitive behavior.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (2012) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant, a recommendation concurred by the World Health Organization (WHO) (1) and the Institute of Medicine(1).Their recommendation seeks to achieve optimal growth, development and health for babies. After six months of age, the WHO (2011) recommends complementing breastfeeding with nutritionally adequate and safe foods for up to two years of age or more. In 2005 the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledged breastfeeding benefits for both mother and baby which included the health and developmental benefits. They advise mothers to continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.
Besides the recommendation of world acknowledged organizations, evidence supported by scientific data states the use of mother’s milk for infants as a sole source of nutrition for the first six months and as a supplement to complementary foods for up to one year. Based on the benefits to the children, studies indicate breastfed babies obtain protection from their mothers from ear infections,...