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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued a revised policy statement on "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk," replacing its 1997 policy. Published in the February 2005 issue of Pediatrics, the new policy includes these recommendations.

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* Mothers should breast-feed exclusively for about 6 months and continue breast-feeding through the first year and beyond as long as both mother and child want to continue.


* Mother and infant should sleep close to each other to facilitate breast-feeding.


* Women should do breast self-examination for lumps throughout lactation, not just after weaning.


* Newborn breast-fed infants should be evaluated by a pediatrician or other knowledgeable and experienced health care professional at 3 to 5 days of age and again at 2 to 3 weeks of age to be sure they're thriving.