The new policy states that breastfeeding and infant nutrition "should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice." The statement reaffirms the group's recommendation that infants receive breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life.
After that, the academy says breastfeeding should continue until at least one year of age as other foods are introduced.
The statement also calls on hospitals to provide support and guidance to mothers of new infants as they begin breastfeeding.
The group affirms that breastfeeding promotes a "unique and emotional connection between mother and baby." The new policy statement is published online in the journal "Pediatrics."