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August 18, 1993

Breast-feeding: Time to Teach What We Preach-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

JAMA. 1993;270(7):831. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510070052029

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In Reply.  —I regret the publication of inaccurate WIC costs for breast-fed and formula-fed infants and appreciate Ms Lenihan correcting the figures previously provided. The corrected figures still demonstrate the significant cost savings associated with breast-feeding. However, short-term cost savings should not be seen as the only rationale for the importance of breast-feeding. As such, the original article describes the many health benefits to infants and mothers derived from breast-feeding.I appreciate the comments of Dr Ball but firmly believe that it would be irresponsible of physicians to abdicate to other health care professionals all responsibility for breast-feeding counseling and support. Mothers, fathers, and infants deserve well-trained and experienced primary care physicians.Breast-feeding is an integral part of infant nutrition and should be recognized as such in medical curricula. Of course we should follow the proviso of "first do no harm" in any situation. However, I agree with Dixon et