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Proceedings of the First Annual Summit on Breastfeeding Published in Breastfeeding Medicine
New Rochelle, NY, October 26, 2009—Proceedings of the First Annual Summit on Breastfeeding, highlighting the unequivocal health benefits of breastfeeding for infants and nursing mothers and the urgent need to promote breastfeeding across ethnic and socioeconomic groups, have just been published in a special supplement to Breastfeeding Medicine, the official peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). The entire supplement is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/bfm
The Summit and the Journal supplement were made possible through generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The Summit, “First Food: The Essential Role of Breastfeeding," held on June 11-12, 2009 in Washington, DC, was a critical call-to-action in response to mounting evidence in the medical literature of the positive health outcomes associated with breastfeeding and the continued disparities in breastfeeding practices across populations. The gathering of eminent researchers, corporate decision makers, policymakers, and clinicians discussed breastfeeding disparities and the cultural, social, and workplace barriers to promoting breastfeeding as a cost-effective, easily accessible, low-tech solution to disease prevention for mothers and their children.
The Summit marked the 25th anniversary of the “Workshop on Breastfeeding and Human Lactation,” hosted by then Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD, and chaired by Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, which first drew attention to the essential role of breastfeeding in June 1984. Continuity was maintained in the 2009 Summit; Dr. Koop, Senior Scholar, Dartmouth College-Dartmouth Medical School, delivered the Opening Address and Dr. Lawrence, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, served as Chair.
The papers presented in the supplement review the progress made in the last 25 years, putting forth the state-of-the-science, and looking to the future with recommendations for breastfeeding policies and practices. Presenters at the Summit included, among others, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Dem-NY); Caroline Chantry, MD, President, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine; Henry W. Foster, MD, Meharry Medical College; Laurence Grummer-Strawn, PhD, MPA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; David Meyers, MD, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; and Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, National Hispanic Medical Association.
The papers present new strategies and recommendations, “But the report does not end the thrust,” write Dr. Ruth A. Lawrence and Cynthia R. Howard, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Editor of Breastfeeding Medicine from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and Summit Co-Chair, in an introductory Editorial. “It merely establishes the issues and the game plan; the challenge is to accomplish these goals.”
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (www.bfmed.org) is a global organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding through education, research, and advocacy. It promotes the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines. The Academy has prepared clinical protocols for the care of breastfeeding mothers and infants that are available on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) National Guideline Clearinghouse website.