Sunday, August 1, 2010

10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
Did you even know such a thing existed before you nursed?
Maybe if we each told 5 people about this week, and those 5 told 3 and those 3 told even 1, we could dramatically inspire and educate the people of the Unites States!
How will you celebrate this week?

The WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF have together comprised this list and it is used in over 150 countries on the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding.

The Ten Steps for health facilities to take towards ensuring successful breastfeeding are as follows:

Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.

Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.

Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth.

Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.

Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.

Practice "rooming in" – allowing mothers and infants to remain together – 24 hours a day.

Encourage breastfeeding on demand – whenever the baby is hungry.

Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.

Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Malnutrition is responsible for one-third of the 8.8 million deaths annually among children under five. It can be a direct cause of death but is also the most important single risk factor for disease in young children. Over two thirds of these deaths, which are often associated with inappropriate feeding practices such as bottle-feeding or untimely and inadequate complementary foods, occur during the first months of life.

“It is estimated that around 35% of infants aged 0 to 6 months are exclusively breastfed in the world today,” says Dr Elizabeth Mason, Director of WHO's Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development. “But if all babies and young children were breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life and then given nutritious complementary food with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age, the lives of an additional 1.5 million children under five would be saved every year.”

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