Is Your Pediatrician An Infant Nutrition Specialist? 8 Must-Ask Questions
Everyone knows breast milk is the optimal nutrition for infants. There’s a reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of infancy and then continued breastfeeding for 12 months with complementary foods. But the truth is, medical schools don’t teach much about breastfeeding beyond the biological process and explaining the benefits. That means even well-intentioned pediatricians may be not well-educated in offering practical support for mothers who want to give their babies (and themselves) the proven health benefits of breastfeeding.
How can you know whether your pediatrician is knowledgeable enough to help you meet the AAP recommendations for infant feeding or your own breastfeeding personal goals? We’ve got you covered. We asked two nationally-recognized pediatricians who are also members of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, a worldwide organization of breastfeeding supportive physicians, for important questions to ask and recommended answers to know if your doctor is truly breastfeeding-friendly.
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1. Question: What education or training regarding breastfeeding have you had?
Answer: Not just medical school. Physicians should have received some sort of additional certification in lactation consulting, are members of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and state that they follow ABM’s recommended office and practical protocols.