It is a well known fact that breastfeeding is an unequalled means for providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants. In this sense, the need to protect, promote and support breastfeeding is unquestionable.
It represents a public health priority everywhere, as confirmed by the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding, unanimously approved by the 55th World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2002. Worldwide, since the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) began, more than 15,000 facilities in 134 countries have been awarded Baby-Friendly status.
The average age for the introduction of bottle-feeding in Romania is 4.2 months, and only 16% of infants aged 0-6 months old were exclusively breastfed in 2006. The median weaning age is 4 months. The poor nutritional status of children in Romania is also due to inadequate infant feeding, early weaning, inappropriate weaning foods, the introduction of breast-milk substitutes and cow’s milk, and poor maternal nutrition. Therefore, UNICEF is providing support to 30 maternity hospitals to become Baby-Friendly Hospitals. The main focus of this programme was the improvement of the nutritional status of infants.