While the organization "recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life," the ACOG also writes that the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is ultimately up to the mom — and that the decision should be respected.
The statement reads, in part:
"Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should support each woman's informed decision about whether to initiate or continue breastfeeding, recognizing that she is uniquely qualified to decide whether exclusive breastfeeding, mixed feeding, or formula feeding is optimal for her and her infant."
The statement, which has been revised from its 2007 incarnation, offers up much-needed support for women who haven't followed conventional guidelines when it comes to breastfeeding, due to everything from medical reasons to problems latching to pain and lack of a place to breastfeed.
"Moms deserve better support, and obstetric providers can and must help, both by assisting their patients and by advocating for policies and practices that enable women to achieve their goals," Dr. Alison Stuebe, lead author of the ACOG opinion, said in a statement.
Not only that, but the ACOG also advocates for support for breastfeeding moms in the community and in the workplace:
"Policies that protect the right of the woman and her child to breastfeed and that accommodate milk expression, such as paid maternity leave, on-site childcare, break time, and a location other than a bathroom for expressing milk, are essential to sustaining breastfeeding," the opinion reads.