Tuesday, August 05, 2014

World Breastfeeding Week: Early Initiaton of Breastfeeding

UNICEF and the World Health Organization, in partnership with numerous other agencies devoted to maternal and child health, have developed a brochure on the importance of the early initiation of breastfeeding.  These organizations want us to spread the word that we know how to raise rates of early initiation and successful breastfeeding.  The research shows that we need to:

  • Implement Baby-Friendly policies in maternity hospitals
  • Train health workers (because they certainly are not so trained now!) to provide individual breastfeeding counseling and support within one hour of birth
  • Encourage immediate skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother after birth, including after c-sections
  • Provide post-natal care through home visits
  • Identify and address cultural barriers to breastfeeding
  • Educate pregnant women and their families about the dangers of not breastfeeding immediately and of giving other fluids instead
  • Expand group education and support groups (get thee to a La Leche League Meeting!)
  • Advocate for enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions (boycott Nestle!).
 For more information, go to the World Alliance For Breastfeeding Action website's WBW page and download the brochure!