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Nutrition: Breastfeeding

Research shows that there is no better food than human milk for the baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economic, and emotional benefits to the lactating person and the baby.

There are also benefits to the community, workplace, and the environment.

Mother on bed is breastfeeding baby

The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes breastfeeding as the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants. Breastfeeding is key in achieving optimal infant and child health, growth, and development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • That infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
  • Continued breastfeeding, with the gradual addition of appropriate foods, for as long as mother and child desire, for two years or beyond.

Reach out to a WIC breastfeeding peer counselor or specialist at your local WIC clinic for information and support.

Breastfeeding support during an infant formula recall

Breastfeeding is a safe way to feed a baby. Breastfeeding helps protect infants from foodborne illness and infections. Cronobacter and Salmonella illnesses have been linked to formula use, making breastfeeding a safer option. Families may have concerns about formula safety and want to maintain or increase their milk supply.

Learn more about the infant formula recall at our WIC homepage.

Apoyo a la lactancia durante la retirada de fórmula infantil (PDF)

Maintaining and increasing your supply

Maintaining or increasing your milk supply may be helpful, especially at times when infant formula is hard to find. Consider doing the following:

  • Breastfeed more—If you combine breastfeeding and infant formula feeding, breastfeed more often. You will increase milk supply and reduce the need for infant formula. The more milk you remove, the more milk you will produce. Learn about low milk supply on U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) WIC Breastfeeding Support website.
  • Wait to wean—If you are thinking about weaning from breastfeeding, consider waiting to avoid introducing or increasing formula use.
  • Bring back your milk supply—It is possible to bring back a milk supply after you stopped breastfeeding. You may even be able to start producing milk if your baby wasn’t initially breastfed. A lactation consultant can help.

Human milk is one of the best things for babies. To learn more, visit the USDA WIC Breastfeeding Support website.

Donor milk and milk sharing

Consult with the baby’s doctor if you are thinking about feeding your baby with donor milk, as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you do decide to use donor milk, use only screened donor human milk.

If you have an oversupply of human milk, consider donating extra milk to an area milk bank.

Healthy People 2030

Healthy People 2030 is a government initiative that sets measurable goals to improve the health and well-being of people across the country. This includes the following breastfeeding goals:

  • Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed exclusively through age 6 months. (MICH-15)
  • Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed at 1 year. (MICH-16)


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Questions? Email us at

Last revised December 29, 2022