From August 1st – 7th, 2010, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), and breastfeeding advocates in more than 170 countries worldwide will be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week for the 19th year with the theme “Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps. The Baby-Friendly Way”.
Research shows that the best feeding option globally is the initiation of breastfeeding within the first half hour of life, exclusive breastfeeding for a full six months and continued breastfeeding through the second year or beyond. Breastfeeding improves short and long term maternal and child health; and thus contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4: REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY and 5: IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH, to which many countries and agencies are committed.
UNICEF recently noted that the reduction of child deaths from 13 million globally in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008 is partly due to the adoption of basic health interventions such as early and exclusive breastfeeding.
What are the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding?
Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant mothers about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn infants only breast milk unless medically indicated.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them
on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
To celebrate, I’m giving away my favourite breastfeeding companion – the Medela Freestyle breast pump! Click here to read my review and enter the giveaway!