New Zealand’s Diverse Breastfeeding Promotion Campaign
In 2008, the Government of New Zealand funded the Ministry of Health (MoH) to develop and implement a national breastfeeding promotion campaign based on formative research and designed to target groups with disparately low breastfeeding rates such as Māori and Pacific people.
Philippines Senator Serves as Breastfeeding Champion
Senator Pia Cayetano is an example of a breastfeeding champion who has used her position in the national government to protect, promote, and support Philippine women’s right to breastfeed and defines herself as “a staunch breastfeeding advocate”.
Public Health Midwives in Sri Lanka
A longitudinal study in Sri Lanka on the effect of training public health midwives on exclusive breastfeeding reported a highly significant increase in the percentage of mothers breastfeeding their infants for 6 months, as well as the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding–all for a relatively low cost. Today, Sri Lanka has one of the top breastfeeding outcomes in the world with 99% of children ever-breastfed and 82% breastfed exclusively in the first six months in 2016.
Peru’s Continuous Demographic and Health Survey
In Peru, the Continuous Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) provides annual data on the initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding under six months, solid foods introduction, and median breastfeeding duration at the national, urban-rural, and departmental (regional) levels of Peru.
Viet Nam Fortifies Legislation
In 2006, Viet Nam adopted Decree 21, based on the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and strengthened the legislation in 2014 to limit advertisements of milk products for children over one year of age and for feeding bottles, teats, and dummies.
India's Infant Milk Substitutes Act, Monitoring, and Enforcement
Suboptimal breastfeeding practices contribute to approximately 12% of deaths among children under five years of age; in India, this contribution is significant as exclusive breastfeeding rates are as low as 35.8% in some Indian states. In 2003, India strengthened their Infant Milk Substitutes (IMS) legislation to ban sponsorship to health care professionals and health organizations by infant formula companies. Violation of the IMS act is a criminal offense and may result in fines and imprisonment.
Promotion of Breastfeeding on a Large Scale with Alive & Thrive’s Mass Communication Campaign
From 2009-2014, the Alive & Thrive project used mass communication within Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Viet Nam to rapidly deliver breastfeeding and complementary feeding messages to families with children under two years of age. Evaluations found that 85% of mothers from the targeted areas reported exposure to a message and 66% of those agreed exclusive breastfeeding was the norm compared to 47% of those not exposed. The rates of exclusive breastfeeding tripled to 57% in Viet Nam, and to more than 80% in Ethiopia and Bangladesh in the program areas.
New Zealand’s Baby Friendly Initiative
The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA), established in 1998, is the national authority for the implementation and management of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI). Maternity services are publicly funded through the Ministry of Health, which sets out BFHI accreditation as a mandatory requirement. The efforts of the NZBA and New Zealand government led to an increase in BFHI accreditation of maternity facilities (0% in 2000 to 96.1% in 2011) and exclusive breastfeeding rates at 3 months of age rose from 30.4% in 2000 to 42% in 2011.
Community Health Workers in Bangladesh
Community health workers (CHWs) are the primary healthcare providers the community level in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, with the support of Alive & Thrive, has trained and employs over 100,000 CHWs who bridge the gap between the public healthcare system and the community. They receive training in breastfeeding/infant and young child feeding practices.
Maternal Mortality Data Leads to Free Maternity Services Nationwide in Kenya
In 2013, Kenya’s Ministry of Health turned to its health information system to investigate the cause of alarmingly high rates of women dying in childbirth. What they found was a problem with access: more than a third of women were giving birth at home without a skilled health provider due to financial and geographic barriers to accessing health facilities.
Brazil’s Multi-Sectorial National Breastfeeding Committee
In 2012 Brazil’s National Breastfeeding Committee was reformulated to include representation from multiple sectors including government, universities, and civil organizations. It is a powerful group that uses evidence to strongly advocate for breastfeeding as a government health priority and support the MoH in their decision making.