Protecting, promoting and supporting breast-feeding
The special role of maternity services
This joint WHO/UNICEF statement has been prepared to increase awareness of the critical role that health services play in promoting breastfeeding, and to describe what should be done to provide mothers with appropriate information and support. It is intended to use, after adaptation to suit local circumstances, by policy-makers and managers as well as by clinicians, midwives and nursing personnel.
Focusing on the brief period of prenatal, delivery and perinatal care provided in maternity wards and clinics, the statement encourages those concerned with the provision of maternity services to review policies and practices that affect breastfeeding. It outlines practical steps that they can take to promote and facilitate the initiation and establishment of breastfeeding by mothers in their care.