World Breastfeeding Week 2010

We are pleased to join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and partners around the globe to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week August 1–7, 2010. This year’s theme highlights the need for maternity services to protect, support, and promote breastfeeding: Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps. The Baby-Friendly Way.

The ten steps outline optimal breastfeeding practices and guidelines that should be implemented by every health facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants. Studies show that implementing the steps along with continued postnatal support contributes to increased breastfeeding initiation and exclusive breastfeeding.1,2,3

Community approaches are also critical. Globally, only 56 percent of women deliver their babies in a health facility, and they are often discharged soon after delivery. Mothers need ongoing infant feeding support in the community, whether they deliver in a hospital or at home.

To commemorate this important campaign, the IYCN Project is joining with partners to host activities in several countries. Learn more below. 

Visit the World Breastfeeding Week website to learn more and view a new video series on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding.

IYCN activities

Haiti: Spreading the baby friendly way

Mothers and children at the celebration in Port-au-Prince on August 22.

The IYCN Project supported the Ministry of Health in Haiti to create “oriflammes” (wall-hangings), posters, flyers, and radio spots highlighting the campaign theme. In August, hospitals, communities, and local partners started using the materials to support mothers to practice early and exclusive breastfeeding. On August 22, IYCN joined the Ministry of Health, United Nations Children’s Fund, and World Vision for a joint celebration in Port-au-Prince. At the event, IYCN Country Coordinator Rose Mireille Exumé addressed the crowd of nearly 300 people, including 100 mothers who had received counseling and support in baby tents after the January 2010 earthquake.

In addition, on August 5, the project joined Médecins du Monde in Petit Goâve for a celebration. IYCN discussed the importance of the ten steps to successful breastfeeding with public health workers in the community.

Learn more about IYCN activities in Haiti.

Ethiopia: Multimedia campaign targets mothers

An image from one of the billboards displayed during World Breastfeeding Week in Ethiopia.

The IYCN Project supported the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia to create and implement a multimedia campaign encouraging mothers to improve breastfeeding practices. The week-long campaign included expert panel discussions on national television, radio and TV spots, billboards, and brochures.

In addition, IYCN supported a national-level government ceremony to launch the campaign on August 4, in Addis Ababa. The audience included urban health workers and clinical nurses, government, nongovernmental organizations, and partners. The ceremony featured a dance showing the usefulness of exclusive breastfeeding and remarks from the state Minister of Health, Dr. Kebede Worku; United Nations Children’s Fund representative to Ethiopia, Ted Chaiban; and Regional Health Bureau Deputy Head, Ato Getachew.

Learn more about IYCN activities in Ethiopia.

Zambia: Walking in support of breastfeeding

IYCN joined the Ministry of Health, National Food and Nutrition Commission, United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Health Organization to encourage community support for the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. The week’s activities included a community walk on August 4 in Ndola to mobilize support for breastfeeding, and radio and television spots promoting exclusive breastfeeding. The IYCN team also distributed leaflets sharing World Breastfeeding Week messages targeted toward health workers and community members.  

Learn more about IYCN activities in Zambia.

Kenya: Boosting awareness of steps to successful breastfeeding

PATH and its partners on the US Agency for International Development’s AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance II (APHIA II) Western Project joined the government of Kenya to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week with a series of activities to raise awareness on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. At the national launch event sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Faith Thuita, Nutrition Technical Advisor, represented the IYCN Project on a panel comprised of members of the National Infant Feeding Steering Committee to field technical questions from the media.

Additionally, at the provincial celebration launch in Western province, APHIA II Western began a sensitization campaign for hospital management teams and district health managers to educate them on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. APHIA II Western and IYCN supported select activities with funding from PATH.

Learn more about IYCN activities in Kenya.

Malawi: Encouraging communities to support breastfeeding

On August 6, the IYCN Project joined the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Community Development to co-host a launch celebration in Ntcheu, Malawi. First Lady Madame Callista Mutharik, who is the safe motherhood ambassador for Malawi, addressed a crowd of about 800 people gathered at the Traditional Authority Kwataine in Ntcheu. Mrs. Mutharik spoke of the importance of breastfeeding on reducing infant mortality and the benefits for mother, baby, and community gained from this practice. This message was reinforced with printed cloths displayed at the event showcasing the ten steps to exclusive breastfeeding.

Osborne Sibande, IYCN Training Coordinator, discussed IYCN’s role in the promotion of optimal feeding practices for infants and young children in Malawi during interviews with two local radio stations.

Learn more about IYCN activities in Malawi.

1. Merten S, Dratva J, Ackermann-Liebrich U. Do baby-friendly hospitals influence breastfeeding duration on a national level? Pediatrics. 2005;116(5):E702-708.

2. Abrahams SW, Labbok M. Exploring the Impact of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative on Trends in Exclusive Breastfeeding. Int Breastfeeding Journal. 2009;4(1):11.

3. Saddeh R and Casanovas M. Implementing and Revitalising the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2009;30(2):225-9.

Photos: Aurelio Ayala III, Philippe Blanc, Rose Mireille Exumé, Belaynesh Yifru, Evelyn Hockstein