The state of breastfeeding in 33 countries
An assessment of infant and young child feeding policies in 33 countries
To ensure proper infant feeding practices, women need to be provided with support at all levels. This WBTi (World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative) report assesses infant and young child feeding (IYCF) policies and programmes in 33 countries located in Asia, Africa and South and Central America.
The report highlights that universalising the coverage of infant and young child feeding practices is one of the most effective interventions to reduce infant and young child mortality, morbidity and malnutrition.
The paper reveals that there are major gaps in both policies and programmes in all 33 countries, and there is very limited concern about support to women for breastfeeding in these countries.
Global recommendations include:
- the UN and donors should commit substantial financial resources in order to universalise key interventions related to breastfeeding and complementary feeding
- programme managers with all organisations dealing with women and children must understand the nature of support needed for women to be successful in carrying out their nurturing role.
- create a coordination mechanism for planning and supervising the implementation of relevant policy in an integrated manner at all levels, from policy making to service delivery at the grassroots level
- monitor key breastfeeding and complementary feeding indicators regularly and use the results to make policy and programmes more effective
- adopt the International Code through the creation of national legislation with rules and regulations that are justiciable
- integrat infant feeding in related comprehensive national policies
- create a group of health and nutrition workers trained in skilled counselling at the health facility level and in the community to provide support to women on IYCF
- enact legislation to provide all women with adequate paid-maternity-leave / financial compensation to carry out exclusive breastfeeding of their infants from birth to six months.