For women in the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends:1
- Infants should be fed breast milk exclusively for the first 6 months of life. Exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant does not receive any additional foods (except vitamin D) or fluids unless medically recommended.
- After the first 6 months and until the infant is 1 year old, the AAP recommends that the mother continue breastfeeding while gradually introducing solid foods into the infant's diet.
- After one year, breastfeeding can be continued if mutually desired by the mother and her infant.
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends as a global public health recommendation that:2
- Infants be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life to achieve optimal growth, development, and health.
- After the first 6 months, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to 2 years of age or beyond.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. (2012, February 27). Breastfeeding and the use of human milk [Policy statement]. Pediatrics, 129, e827–e841. Retrieved April 27, 2012, from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827.full.pdf+html [top]
- World Health Organization. (2001, May 1). The World Health Organization's infant feeding recommendation. Retrieved June 13, 2012, from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/infantfeeding_recommendation/en/index.html [top]