Breastfeeding Recommendations and Guidance

At a glance

Families, health care providers, and people in early care and education settings can help mothers reach their breastfeeding goals.

Woman breastfeeding an infant while sitting in a white chair.

For families

How long should infants be breastfed?

Exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months is recommended. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends continued breastfeeding while introducing appropriate complementary foods until children are 12 months or older. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend continued breastfeeding along with introducing appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years or longer.

Storing and preparing breast milk

How to safely store, prepare, and transport expressed breast milk.

Feeding your child safely during a disaster

Precautions to take when feeding your infant after a flood, hurricane, or other emergency.

Cleaning infant feeding items

How to clean your breast pump and other infant feeding items to keep your baby healthy.

For health care and childcare providers

Supporting infant feeding in early care and education programs

Tips and examples to meet national standards for supporting breastfeeding, storing breast milk, and introducing solid foods.

Supporting breastfeeding and infant safety in maternity care settings

Published resources on infant safety in the maternity care setting.

Addressing breast milk mix-ups

What to do if an infant or child is mistakenly fed another woman's expressed breast milk.