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INTER-AMERICAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT BULLETIN. 1990 Dec; 7(12):1-5.A lack of support for and information about breast feeding has contributed to the decline in its practice worldwide. The article provides support for the benefits of breast feeding and discusses existing and potential legislation affecting breast feeding and urges policy makers to provide accurate information per Article 4 of the WHO/UNICEF Code. A list of the benefits includes: infant protection against disease, excellent and inexpensive source of nutrition, no contamination of milk supply, lower maternal risk, financial savings, and a complement to family planning. It is noted that artificial formulas and bottles are perceived by poor women as the desirable modern way, and formula companies promote their product in such a manner as to restrict the possibility of breast feeding. It is suggested that effective national health policies include: 1) paid maternity leave with government support, 2) job security after delivery with no loss of seniority, 3) establishment of breast feeding facilities in the workplace or community, 4) provision for nursery breaks without loss of pay, and 5) flexible employment arrangements such as part-time or shorter shifts. Most countries in the Western Hemisphere have a maternity leave policy with the exception of Belize, Saint Vincent, and the US. 18 countries have statutory provisions for nursing breaks at work, and 19 countries require nurseries to be available. Worker satisfaction and lower absenteeism are some benefits to companies supportive of breast feeding practices. The WHO/UNICEF education code recommends information on 1) the advantages of breast feeding, 2) maternal nutrition and preparation for breast feeding, 3) negative effects of partial bottle feeding, 4) the difficulty of resuming breast feeding after stopping, and 5) the correct preparation of breastmilk substitutes made commercially or at home.
[Breastfeeding: a right of the mother and child] Aleitamento materno: um direito da mae e da crianca.
REVISTA PAULISTA DE MEDICINA. 1987 Mar-Apr; 105(2):103-7.The laws concerning the protection of working women who nurse and the outcome of the breast feeding program at the state university of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, are discussed. The International Labor Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 with the objective of improving the working conditions and lives of workers worldwide. At a 1952 convention, the right of women to interrupt work to nurse was accepted. In 1975, the declaration on the equal opportunity and treatment of working women was passed. ILO's recommendation was adopted in 30 countries which allowed working woman to nurse for 30 minutes or more. In Italy and Bulgaria, 60 minutes is assigned for nursing. A 1923 Brazilian law decreed that nurseries must be near the work place where mothers could nurse regularly. ILO's 1952 convention was ratified in 1966 in Brazil, and, in 1986, a paid nursery scheme was passed. UNICAMP has been dealing with nursing programs since 1975, focusing on education, breastfeeding techniques, presentations, and group discussions. The mothers were monitored until weaning or until the child reached 9 months of age. The program had a higher impact among women >25 and married, than among women >30 with less education. In a follow-up program, 100 women 7 months pregnant received prenatal assistance and were asked to fill out a questionnaire. 76 complied: 28 nursed their present child but not the previous one, and 22 nursed their first child (50% for less than 6 months). A 1977 survey in the city of Paulinia on breast feeding duration of children up to 2 years of age showed that 12.1% of 610 were never nursed. 57% were exclusively breast fed in the first month, but only 18% were nursed by the 6th month. In 1982, an infant center was inaugurated by UNICAMP where a child could nurse 5 times a day up to 6 months of age. In the first 4 years, 334 children attended and were nursed for 12 months, although 8.8 months was the expected duration, and the previous child had been nursed for only 6 months.