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Breastfeeding determinants and a suggested framework for action in Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2001

Agneta Yngve*
Affiliation:
Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet, SE 141 57 Huddinge, Sweden
Michael Sjöström
Affiliation:
Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet, SE 141 57 Huddinge, Sweden Department of Physical Education and Health, University of Örebro, SE 701 82 Örebro, Sweden
*
*Corresponding author: Email agneta.yngve@prevnut.ki.se
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Abstract

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This is a background paper for the EURODIET initiative. A number of international initiatives and documents were identified, such as the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and a number of consensus reports from professional groups, that propose ways forward for breastfeeding promotion. These point at a range of initiatives on different levels. The determinants for successful breastfeeding have to be identified. They can be categorised into five groups; socio-demographic, psycho-social, health care related, community- and policy attributes. A framework for future breastfeeding promoting efforts on European level is suggested, within which these determinants are considered.

A common surveillance system needs to be built in Europe, where determinants of breastfeeding are included. There is also a need for a surveillance system which makes it possible to use the collected data on local level, not only on national and supranational level. Combined with a thorough review of the effectiveness of already existing breastfeeding promotion programmes, a co-ordinated EU – EFTA action plan on breastfeeding should be formulated and implemented within a few years. Urgent action could take place in parallel, especially targeting young, low-income, less educated mothers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © CABI Publishing 2001

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