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Breastfeeding Rates and Programs in Europe: A Survey of 11 National Breastfeeding Committees and Representatives
LMU - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Div. Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital, Munich, Germany.
Department of Mother and Child Health, ASM-Matera and Task Force on Breastfeeding, MOH, Rome, Italy.
Danish Committee for Health Education, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Instituto de Tecnologías Biomédicas (ITB) and Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas de Canarias (CIBICAN), Universidad de La Laguna, Spain.
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition - JPGN, ISSN 0277-2116, E-ISSN 1536-4801, Vol. 68, no 3, p. 400-407Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Among the world's regions, the WHO European Region has the lowest rates of exclusive breastfeeding at age 6 months with around 25%. Low rates and early cessation of breastfeeding have important adverse health consequences for women, infants and young children. Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding are a public health priority.

OBJECTIVES: National breastfeeding data and monitoring systems among selected European countries and the WHO European Region are compared. Mechanisms for the support, protection and promotion of breastfeeding are reviewed and successes and challenges in implementation of national programs are presented.

METHODS: National representatives of national breastfeeding committees and initiatives in eleven European countries, including Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, participated in a standardized survey. Results are evaluated and compared in a narrative review.

RESULTS: Variation exists in Europe on breastfeeding rates, methodology for data collection and mechanisms for support, protection and promotion of breastfeeding. Directly after birth, between 56 and 98 % of infants in all countries were reported to receive any human milk, and at 6 months 38-71% and 13-39 % of infants to be breastfed or exclusively breastfed, respectively. National plans addressing breastfeeding promotion, protection and support exist in 6 of the 11 countries.

CONCLUSIONS: National governments should commit to evidence-based breastfeeding monitoring and promotion activities, including financial and political support, to improve breastfeeding rates in the Europe. Renewed efforts for collaboration between countries in Europe, including a sustainable platform for information exchange, are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2019. Vol. 68, no 3, p. 400-407
Keywords [en]
breastfeeding, country comparison, national breastfeeding programs, public health
National Category
Other Basic Medicine Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Pediatrics Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Other Health Sciences
Research subject
Woman, Child and Family (WomFam)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16547DOI: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002234ISI: 000461077600029PubMedID: 30562307Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85062106403OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-16547DiVA, id: diva2:1277471
Available from: 2019-01-10 Created: 2019-01-10 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Kylberg, Elisabeth

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