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Tips for successful breastfeeding: Initiatives point out the importance of breastfeeding and encourage clinics and birthing centers to use the 10 steps for successful breastfeeding.
This week is the "World Breastfeeding Week". On this occasion, the Federal Center for Health Education, the WHO "Baby-friendly Hospital" initiative and the "Unicef" children's aid organization highlighted the importance of breastfeeding newborns.
The initiative is designed to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies. "Breastfeeding not only provides the baby with tailor-made food, it also supports the parent-child relationship, provides the baby with important antibodies and reduces a number of illness risks for the child," said the chairwoman of the Federal Center for Health Education, Elisabeth Pott.
Breastfeeding has a positive effect on the health of both mother and child. Breastfeeding mothers are at lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer after birth. In addition, the regression of the uterus after childbirth is promoted by breastfeeding.
Twenty years ago, UNICEF and the WHO had worked out ten steps for successful and healthy breastfeeding. In these steps, the start of breastfeeding should be made easier for mother and child. It is also very important for this that mothers can obtain sufficient information beforehand and receive specialist support, for example from midwives.
About 12 percent of the babies and mothers in the 108 hospitals worldwide that offer these 10 steps have already been supported by this program. “This number makes us very proud. But it also makes it clear that we are still far from reaching our goal, ”emphasized Michael Abou-Dakn, Chairman of the WHO / UNICEF initiative“ Baby-friendly hospital. Now, however, it is time to further publicize this model and convince those responsible that the 10 step model is not only good for mothers and children, but also saves costs in the health system.
The ten steps to successful breastfeeding:
1. Have written breastfeeding guidelines that are regularly discussed with all employees.
2. Train all employees so that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to implement the breastfeeding guidelines.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the importance and practice of breastfeeding.
4. Allow mothers to have continuous skin contact with their baby from birth for at least an hour or until the baby is breastfed for the first time.
5. Show the mothers how to put them on correctly and explain how they can maintain their milk production, even if they are separated from their child.
6. Do not give fluids or other foods to newborn babies in addition to breast milk, unless indicated for medical reasons.
7. Practice 24-hour rooming-in - mother and child stay together day and night.
8. Encourage breastfeeding as needed.
9. Do not give artificial suckers to breastfed children.
10. Point out the mothers to breastfeeding groups and encourage the development of breastfeeding groups.
Obstetric facilities certified as “baby-friendly” implement these “ten steps” and adhere to the international decisions of the WHA (World Health Assembly) for the marketing of breast milk replacement products. (sb, babyfriend.org - 06.10.2010)
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Photo credit: Rolf van Melis / pixelio.de