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Action Ideas for the World Breastfeeding Week

In a world where more than 10 million children die before their fifth birthday due to preventable causes, and undernutrition is  rampant and associated with over one third of childhood deaths - there is no time to waste!

 Lets assure young children the best start to life - starting prenatally, at birth and in the critical first hour of life  – leading on to the  first days,  first weeks , first months and year of life – WHO 2007.

CIRCLE – WOMEN IN THE CENTRE
• Learn about breastfeeding.
• Ask for support and offer support to others.
• Take care of health and nutritional needs during pregnancy and lactation.
• Talk to women who have had positive breastfeeding experiences.
• Attend a mother-to-mother support group or other similar support entity.

CIRCLE – FAMILY AND SOCIAL NETWORK
• Provide practical support to the breastfeeding mother: prepare a meal, help care for older children, or help with chores.
• Learn about breastfeeding to help a mother prevent or recognize and address difficulties early.
• Believe in mother’s ability to breastfeed her baby.
• Provide transportation for her to attend a support group meeting or visit a lactation consultant.
• Write letters to the media to advocate for breastfeeding and to correct misinformation.

CIRCLE – HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
• Learn how to start a maternity facility-based mother support group.
• Take a peer counsellor or other breastfeeding training course.
• Actively solicit medical and political leadership to support BFHI in every facility.
• Identify the lactation experts in your community and how best to contact them.
• Include breastfeeding counselling and support skills in all health and child care worker trainings.

CIRCLE – GOVERNMENT AND LEGISLATION
• Speak or write to policy makers about the importance of supporting breastfeeding.
• Advocate for legislation that enacts the provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and subsequent WHA resolutions / IMS Act.
• Join the local breastfeeding coalition and actively support its activities.
• Send information about BFHI to hospital and maternity facility administrators.
• Circulate a petition to provide local tax incentives to worksites that support mothers to breastfeed.

CIRCLE – WORKPLACE AND EMPLOYMENT
• As an employer, maintain a suitable location for breastfeeding women to express their milk and/or breastfeed their baby.
• Work with local community organizations to support breastfeeding in the informal work sector.
• As the caregiver of a breastfed baby, learn what is needed to maintain a breastfeeding experience.
• As a family member, ease the household tasks of the breastfeeding and working mother.
• Write to legislators to support the enactment of paid maternity leave, extension of maternity leave, and laws supporting mother friendly workplaces.

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