Academy of
Breastfeeding Medicine

A worldwide organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion,
protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation

About ABM

History

A groundswell of interest to form a physician breastfeeding organization appeared in 1993, when a group of physicians from various specialties met at an International Lactation Consultant Association meeting. Physicians identified several common needs, including sharing resources on physician education and breastfeeding management issues. Two physicians who met at the UCLA Lactation Consultant (LC) training course in 1993 carried on efforts after this initial gathering. Their drive to establish an organization was fueled by the many case reports presented by LC's in training, which were able to illustrate situations where physicians participated in barriers preventing breastfeeding success.

Several LCs were so enthusiastic about the start-up of a physician breastfeeding organization that they donated money on the spot, to ignite its beginning. These two physicians drafted a budget, contacted a lawyer, established bank accounts and named the fledgling organization Physicians Advocating Breastfeeding (PHAB). As they invited other physicians to join them it became clear that the need for an international multi-specialty physician organization had ripened. Twelve core physicians became the founding members of PHAB. The work had then only begun!

PHAB's initial two-day meeting took place in Stanford, CA, in the summer of 1994. An intense amount of energy was put forth to establish the organizations' bylaws, articles of incorporation, mission statement, long and short-term goals, and general organizational structures. They also renamed the organization the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM).

ABM is now an international multi-specialty physician organization, with more than 500 members from more than 50 countries. ABM is a core partner of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The organization has held an Annual International Meeting since 1995, and it has representation at the US Department of Agriculture's Breastfeeding Consortium, the United States Breastfeeding Committee, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Medicine, and the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultant Examiners. Members of ABM regularly contributed articles to its newsletter, The ABM News and Views, and now continue to contribute to the new peer-reviewed medical journal, Breastfeeding Medicine. The Academy has developed a basic physician-training course on breastfeeding, which is presented each year at the ABM conference. ABM continues to actively develop and share its evidence-based protocols on clinical lactation management. Members of ABM enjoy a very active, international exchange of ideas, knowledge, teaching methods and experiences on the ABM Listserv.