HealthDay News — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that primary care interventions to promote breastfeeding can have a moderate net benefit. These findings form the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the October 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Noting that evidence indicates that breastfeeding provides substantial health benefits for children and moderate health benefits for women, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, from the USPSTF, and colleagues updated the 2008 USPSTF recommendation on primary care interventions to promote breastfeeding. Evidence relating to the effectiveness of interventions to support breastfeeding on breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity was reviewed.

The researchers found adequate evidence that interventions to support breastfeeding, including professional support, peer support, and formal education, could alter behavior, and that the harms associated with these interventions were no greater than small. Based on these findings, the USPSTF concluded with moderate certainty that interventions to support breastfeeding have a moderate net benefit (Grade B recommendation).

“Breastfeeding has real health benefits for babies and their mothers. Primary care clinicians can help new moms who breastfeed be successful,” a Task Force member said in a statement. “Primary care interventions to support breastfeeding are effective in increasing both the number of mothers who breastfeed and how long they breastfeed their babies.”

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Recommendation Statement
Evidence Review