Breastfeeding taskforce

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding for at least 2 years

NEW YORK — New guidelines from health officials change the recommended period for breastfed babies.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its advice for mothers to extend breastfeeding for two years or more. Before, the recommendation was for one year.

CBS2’s Nick Caloway spoke with experts and moms about the changes and challenges.

“Everyone is trying to do what’s best for their child. For each person it’s going to be different,” mother Hanna Zeif told Caloway.

For Zeif, that meant breastfeeding past the two-year mark. Her son Ilan is two and a half years old.

“We never got to a point where I had a reason to quit. It makes him happy. I’m okay with that,” she said.

Zeif welcomed the new AAP guidelines, which also recognized that parents need support in the form of public policy, such as paid time off, more support for breastfeeding in public and insurance coverage. for lactation support.

Sipporah Tracer is a Certified Lactation Consultant based in Teaneck, New Jersey.

“They need to have access to that support. And if there isn’t, we need to do something at a societal level to change that,” she told Caloway.

The benefits of breastfeeding are significant.

“There’s less chance of ear infections, there’s less chance of respiratory tract infections, which prevents obesity in children,” said Dr. Cheryl Panem, a pediatrician at St. Joseph’s Health in Paterson.

Importantly, the updated AAP policy suggests two years of breastfeeding if mutually desired by mother and baby. Dr Panem said families need non-judgmental support.

“Not all mothers can start breastfeeding, and not all mothers can continue breastfeeding,” she said.

Of course, two years isn’t for everyone. But for moms like Zeif, it’s confirmation that her breastfeeding journey is normal.

“It just gives me a little more confidence to start breastfeeding my child in more public places,” she said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for six months before the introduction of complementary foods.