FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2018
CONTACT: Maura Christopher
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) has released the following statement in response to recent news stories indicating that US delegates opposed an international resolution in support of breastfeeding during the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in Geneva:
supports comprehensive health education marketing efforts to inform and educate
the public, health care providers, and the women and individuals we serve about the importance of breastfeeding
as a normal process and preferred method of infant feeding.
"The American College of Nurse-Midwives is disappointed in reports alleging that US delegates were pressing for removal of language from a World Health Assembly resolution that would encourage countries to protect, promote and support breastfeeding," said ACNM President Susan Stone, CNM, DNSc, FACNM, FAAN. " ACNM promotes breastfeeding as the optimal method of infant feeding and we strongly support policy initiatives and best practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support for the women, individuals, children, and families certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives serve across the United States and globally."
As outlined in our position statement on breastfeeding, research shows that breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mom and baby. Breastfeeding soon after birth reduces postpartum blood loss and enhances maternal-infant bonding. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months provides complete nutrition for growth and development. Breast milk contains specific immunologic factors that cannot be duplicated in commercially prepared formulas and that have been shown to engage an infant's immune response and to reduce the incident of infectious diseases. In addition, breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, asthma, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and types I and II diabetes later in childhood. Improved breastfeeding globally would prevent 20,000 maternal deaths from breast cancer and 823,000 deaths annually in children under the age of 5 years.