Skip to navigation bar Skip to breadcrumbs Skip to page content
clear place holder
Envelope icon E-mail Updates Teal square Text size:  a A A

Clinical Summary

Breastfeeding: Primary Care Interventions

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Population Pregnant women, new mothers, and their children
Recommendation Provide interventions during pregnancy and after birth to support breastfeeding.
Grade: B
Interventions Primary care clinicians can support women before and after childbirth by providing interventions directly or by referral to help them make an informed choice about how to feed their infants and to be successful in their choice. Interventions include promoting the benefits of breastfeeding, providing practical advice and direct support on how to breastfeed, and providing psychological support.

Interventions can be categorized as professional support, peer support, and formal education, although none of these categories are mutually exclusive, and interventions may be combined within and between categories. Interventions may also involve a woman’s partner, other family members, and friends.
Implementation Not all women choose to or are able to breastfeed. Clinicians should, as with any preventive service, respect the autonomy of women and their families to make decisions that fit their specific situation, values, and preferences.
Balance of Benefits and Harms The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that interventions to support breastfeeding have a moderate net benefit.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making this recommendation, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to

Current as of: October 2016

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Breastfeeding: Primary Care Interventions. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. October 2016.

USPSTF Program Office   5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 06E53A, Rockville, MD 20857