Educational Objectives and Skills for the Physician with Respect to Breastfeeding

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Statement, 2011


The science of breastfeeding and human lactation requires that physicians from many different specialties have a collaborative forum to promote progress in physician education. To optimize breastfeeding practices globally, physicians must incorporate the attitudes and skills needed to practice evidence-based breastfeeding medicine. The study of breastfeeding and human lactation is not currently recognized as a medical subspecialty, so that the maintenance of a multispecialty, physician-only organization dedicated to physician education and expansion of knowledge in this field has been vital.


The benefits of breastfeeding have been well documented. Medical doctors worldwide play a key role in advocating for breastfeeding, and they interact with women and children throughout the lifespan. To advocate for breastfeeding, educate families about breastfeeding, and provide optimal clinical management of breastfeeding, these medical doctors must also be educated about and skilled in breastfeeding preventive maintenance, diagnosis, and treatment. Lack of sufficient education and preparation for breastfeeding support and guidance by physicians has been well documented in the medical literature.

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