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Enabling women to breastfeed through better policies and programmes: Global breastfeeding scorecard 2018

  |   SUN UN Network

Supporting women to breastfeed is everyone’s responsibility, including governments, donors, international organisations and civil society alike. Legislators and policy makers need to create an enabling environment that allows women to be informed of her options and supported throughout the entire breastfeeding experience, starting from the first hour of a newborn’s life. When governments enact policies that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, women will be enabled to make an informed decision on feeding their children and the health of women and children everywhere will be improved.

The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard periodically reviews national progress on implementing seven actions needed to enable women to breastfeed, including funding of breastfeeding programmes, regulation of marketing of breast-milk substitutes, maternity protection in the workplace, compliance with the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, access to breastfeeding counselling and training, availability of community support programmes, and consistent monitoring.

The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard periodically reviews national progress on implementing these seven actions. The goal of the Scorecard is to encourage progress, increase accountability, and document change for all countries as they take the necessary steps to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. While there are countries that have made significant progress, there is no single country that has met all the recommendations described in the Scorecard. Globally, the percent of countries carrying out the recommended actions is far too low. When governments increasingly enact policies that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, women will be enabled to make an informed decision on feeding their children and the health of women and children everywhere will be improved.

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