The influence of Baby Friendly program on the length of breastfeeding
Keywords:Baby Friendly, BFHI, breastfeeding
In 19th century the death-rate of newborns was 25% and it was in direct correlation with breastfeeding. Mortality connected with breastfeeding and formula nutrition today is not regarded as a current issue in developed Western counties, and they are rather treated as reflection of expanded morbidity and cost benefit. Breastfeeding advantages are projected in nutritive, immune, developmental, psychological, social and economical aspects. Breastfeeding promotion should involve professionals from different areas. The basic aim of the current research is to examine the way in which the implementation of Baby Friendly programme influences both breastfeeding as the only nourishing method, and the use of formula nutrition and substitution after third and sixth month of a newborn’s life. The observed group consisted of 216 newborns who were exposed to Baby Friendly programme after birth in maternity hospitals, and the same number of newborns who were not exposed to the program. The results point to significantly more frequent breastfeeding as the only nourishing method, and less often use of formula nutrition and substitution in the group of newborns exposed to Baby Friendly programme, even after three and six months of life when compared to the control group. All around the world, during the last century, breastfeeding rates were declining, and only in the last decade, the application of BFHI and its ten steps of successful breastfeeding brought positive results worldwide. This initiative has been accepted by around 20,000 medical centres, which present about a third of all world institutions. The study doubtlessly confirms that the implementation of Baby Friendly programme raises breastfeeding rates. The implementation of Baby Friendly programme is of utmost necessity wherever possible, since the advantages of breastfeeding are enormous and precious for the health of future generations.
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