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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    New World Health Organization guidance helps protect breastfeeding as a human right.

    Grummer-Strawn LM; Zehner E; Stahlhofer M; Lutter C; Clark D; Sterken E; Harutyunyan S; Ransom EI

    Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2017 Aug 10; 1-3.

    Written by the WHO/UNICEF NetCode author group, the comment focuses on the need to protect families from promotion of breast-milk substitutes and highlights new WHO Guidance on Ending Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children. The World Health Assembly welcomed this Guidance in 2016 and has called on all countries to adopt and implement the Guidance recommendations. NetCode, the Network for Global Monitoring and Support for Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and Subsequent Relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions, is led by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund. NetCode members include the International Baby Food Action Network, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, Helen Keller International, Save the Children, and the WHO Collaborating Center at Metropol University. The comment frames the issue as a human rights issue for women and children, as articulated by a statement from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    The continuing battle over baby-milk formula.

    MacDonald R

    Lancet. 2007 May 26; 369(9575):1773.

    A recent briefing paper by the charity Save the Children UK, and an investigation by the Guardian newspaper, highlight that inappropriate activities surrounding baby-milk formula marketing and promotion cannot be resigned to the pages of history. 25 years on from the introduction of the WHO International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes, food companies persist in their dubious practices, but in a more subtle manner than in their aggressive activities of 30 years ago. Most importantly, such practices are still responsible for the deaths of thousands of children. In 1970s, an international campaign against the food giant Nestle was responsible for eliciting such collective outrage that it led to one of the biggest public boycotts in corporate history. Subsequent international pressure resulted in the WHO code, which not only covers the marketing of infant formula, but also other commodities if promoted as partial or total breastmilk replacements. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    The International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes: frequently asked questions.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2006. 11 p.

    The Code is a set of recommendations to regulate the marketing of breast-milk substitutes, feeding bottles and teats. The Code was formulated in response to the realization that poor infant feeding practices were negatively affecting the growth, health and development of children, and were a major cause of mortality in infants and young children. Poor infant feeding practices therefore were a serious obstacle to social and economic development. The 34th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in 1981 as a minimum requirement to protect and promote appropriate infant and young child feeding. The Code aims to contribute "to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breast-milk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution". The Code advocates that babies be breastfed. If babies are not breastfed, for whatever reason, the Code also advocates that they be fed safely on the best available nutritional alternative. Breast-milk substitutes should be available when needed, but not be promoted. The Code was adopted through a WHA resolution and represents an expression of the collective will of governments to ensure the protection and promotion of optimal feeding for infants and young children. (excerpt)
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  4. 4

    Breastfeeding management and promotion in a baby-friendly hospital: an 18-hour course for maternity staff.

    UNICEF; World Health Organization [WHO]

    New York, New York, UNICEF, 1993 Jan. [5], vii, 127, [70] p.

    The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative seeks to promote exclusive breast feeding in the first 4-6 months of life, followed by supplemental feeding up to two years of age or beyond. To assist hospitals in making the policy changes necessary for achieving this goal, an 18-hour course for physicians, midwives, nurses, and other maternity staff was devised. The curriculum was designed to impart the knowledge required to implement the 10 steps to successful breast feeding: 1) develop a written breast feeding policy, 2) train all health care staff in skills needed for policy implementation, 3) inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breast feeding, 4) help mothers initiate breast feeding within 30 minutes of delivery, 5) show mothers how to breast feed and maintain lactation when separated from their infant, 6) give newborns no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically necessary, 7) allow mothers and infants to remain together in the hospital, 8) encourage demand feeding, 9) provide no pacifiers, and 10) promote the establishment of breast feeding support groups. In addition to the 14 lessons that comprise this manual, the course includes three hours of clinical experience.
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  5. 5

    Training course on code implementation.

    Allain A; de Arango R

    MOTHERS AND CHILDREN. 1992; 11(3):6-7.

    The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) is a coalition of over 40 citizen groups in 70 countries. IBFAN monitors the progress worldwide of the implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The Code is intended to regulate the advertising and promotional techniques used to sell infant formula. The 1991 IBFAN report shows that 75 countries have taken some action to implement the International Code. During 1992, the IBFAN Code Documentation Center in Malaysia conducted 2 training courses to help countries draft legislation to implement and monitor compliance with the International Code. In April, government officials from 19 Asian and African countries attended the first course in Malaysia; the second course was conducted in Spanish in Guatemala and attended by officials from 15 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The resource people included representatives from NGOs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America with experience in Code implementation and monitoring at the national level. The main purpose of each course was to train government officials to use the International Code as a starting point for national legislation to protect breastfeeding. Participants reviewed recent information on lactation management, the advantages of breastfeeding, current trends in breastfeeding and the marketing practices of infant formula manufacturers. The participants studied the terminology contained in the International Code and terminology used by infant formula manufacturers to include breastmilk supplements such as follow-on formulas and cereal-based baby foods. Relevant World Health Assembly resolutions such as the one adopted in 1986 on the need to ban free and low-cost supplies to hospitals were examined. The legal aspects of the current Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and the progress in the 12 BFHI test countries concerning the elimination of supplies were also examined. International Labor Organization conventions on maternity legislation also need to be implemented to support breastfeeding.
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