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Keywords:

  • Baby Friendly Initiative;
  • breastfeeding;
  • immune function;
  • mammary gland;
  • Ten Steps

Abstract

The Renaissance of breastfeeding is at hand. With the energy of an epidemic and the passion of a crusade, breastfeeding has become the norm for infant feeding. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have affirmed breastfeeding's value to public health. Strong organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Association of Family Practice, and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine have confirmed the value of human milk. The discussion is over. Leading the charge is an eclectic group of health professionals and women, but the cause cannot rest. Efforts to change hospital behavior are key, but the support for mother-baby couples at home for the weeks and months that follow has just begun. Duration is the challenge. Employment and employers comprise one arm of the campaign. The other arms of the effort are under construction. Now is a time to move ahead, not rest on past achievement. (BIRTH 39:4 December 2012)