206896 Best practices in breastfeeding support: Controversies and recommendations

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:40 AM

Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, FACPM , Carolina Breastfeeding Institute, Department of Maternal Child Health , Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Introduction: Global support for breastfeeding has increased over the last 30 years as more evidence accumulated confirming the substantial impact of early, exclusive and continued breastfeeding on maternal and child health and survival.

Background: While the first global efforts concentrated on reducing aggressive marketing of breast-milk substitutes, by 1990 it was recognized that programmatic intervention in health services and active support for mothers was necessary to achieve measurable impacts on breastfeeding rates.

Methods: DHS data, UNICEF review documents, and published reports were reviewed and analyzed to identify lessons learned and best practices.

Findings: UNICEF reviews of best practices published in the late 1990s/early 2000s identified successful program approaches. Since that time, global funding for breastfeeding diminished significantly. As a result, support for breastfeeding has increasingly been offered in UNICEF programming as one option of several measures that could be included in integrated program services. Other programs, especially those supported by USAID, have actively included breastfeeding as a focus in concentrated community nutrition efforts.

Conclusions: Exploration of breastfeeding trends in countries with both multiple DHS surveys and documented program histories reveals possible differences in impact of various programs, the importance and impact of building upon previous efforts, and suggestions as to what combination of programming is most effective in improving breastfeeding rates.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importanceof breastfeeding for maternal and child health outcomes internationlly Discuss various approaches to breastfeeding support Evaluate historical and current approaches Discuss controversies and possible best practices

Keywords: International MCH, Breastfeeding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on this issue for 35 years, and have published widely on this issue
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.