Mothers from all walks of life know that mother's milk is best for infants, and they know why. If that is so, why do so many women choose to bottle feed? Because they do not hear any encouragement for breast feeding from their doctors, many physicians never mention the value of breast feeding, and many never discuss the process with their patients. Every woman deserves the opportunity to make an informed choice, and the process of gaining information to make the choice includes discussion with the physician. Open discussion of the facts does not cause guilt—not knowing and lack of support from the physician for breast feeding cause guilt. Mothers of the 1960s and 1970s now are saying, "If only my doctor had told me how important it is to breast feed."

The pediatrician can educate parents prenatally when meeting them before delivery as well as by participating in childbirth education programs and other community education opportunities. The pediatric office environment, the printed parents' guide, and the attitude of the staff convey a message to parents about the pediatrician's priorities. The office that has formula everywhere and formula company trinkets, pads, pencils, and posters promotes formula and often a particular brand.

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