August 2021

IconCapacity Strengthening

Research Articles

Applying Systematic Review Search Methods to the Grey Literature: A Review of Education and Training Courses on Breastfeeding Support for Health Professionals

Navarro, Ivette, Jose M. Soriano, and Salomé Laredo, International Breastfeeding Journal, April 2021
Lactation training for health professionals is a promising approach to increase and protect breastfeeding but it requires research on its efficacy.

Reports and Tools

Training Module on Designing and Delivering Gender Responsive Extension and Advisory Services (EAS)

International Rice Research Institute, Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy (CRISP), March 2021
This module helps trainers design and deliver gender-responsive extension and advisory services for agriculture programs. Some tools can be adapted for breastfeeding interventions.

Events

Achieving Health Equity: Providing Skilled Breastfeeding Support Universally

World Health Organization, August 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
Global leaders discuss why investment in skilled breastfeeding support is essential to achieving equitable health outcomes. This is a webinar available in Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

Breastfeeding, Physical Growth, and Cognitive Development

Wallenborn, Jordyn T., Gillian A. Levine, Angélica Carreira dos Santos, et al. Pediatrics, May 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
Complying with the World Health Organization recommendation to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, then practice complementary feeding until 2 years of age, is associated with improved child development and height-for-age z-score and a 67 percent decrease in the odds of stunting. This article is behind a paywall.

Reports and Tools

Breastfeeding: A Key Investment in Human Capital

Murthi, Mamta, and Meera Shekar, Pediatrics, March 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
The Human Capital Index (HCI) suggests that, on average, a child born in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to reach only 40 percent of their full earnings potential. Because undernutrition and child mortality rates contribute significantly to the HCI, breastfeeding is a key factor in human capital development. This article is behind a paywall.

India: Family Participatory Care: A Gateway to Nurturing Small and Sick Newborns

Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development, n.d.
  • Early Childhood Development
Based on research showing that providing parents continuous access to their babies after delivery improved breastfeeding before discharge, the Indian National Health Mission developed an educational series to teach handwashing skills and infection prevention, kangaroo and developmentally supportive care, preparation for discharge, and care at home.

Revisiting Humanitarian Action Early: Planting the Seeds for a New Generation

Early Childhood Development Action Network, June 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
Analysis of Humanitarian and Refugee Response Plans indicates Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) recommendations are often not included. Advocates recommend increasing investments for pregnant women and their children in humanitarian contexts, building the frontline workforce and health services to support safe and healthy births, and applying the NCF in all phases of emergencies.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

Attitudes and Perceptions about Breastfeeding Among Female and Male Informal Workers in India and South Africa

Horwood, C., A. Surie, L. Haskins, et al. BMC Public Health, June 2020
  • Food Systems
Most women surveyed understood the benefits of breastfeeding and initiated breastfeeding, but household responsibilities and financial obligations frequently forced an early return to work. This led to changes in infant feeding practices, including adding breast milk substitutes. Men viewed breastfeeding as beneficial for mother and child, but reported that it was culturally unacceptable for women to breastfeed in public.

First-Food Systems Transformations and the Ultra-Processing of Infant and Young Child Diets: The Determinants, Dynamics, and Consequences of the Global Rise in Commercial Milk Formula Consumption

Baker, Phillip, Thiago Santos, Paulo Augusto Neves, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, November 2020
  • Food Systems
Increasing formula sales are linked to rising incomes, urbanization, social norms, women's work, medicalization, and the globalization of the industry. Companies use diverse and aggressive marketing techniques to grow their markets, including product diversification, digital marketing, and health professional co-optation. Current policies to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding are inadequate.

Reports and Tools

Celebrating 40 years of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

Alive & Thrive, May 2021
  • Food Systems
Articles focus on the history of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes; the need to address unethical marketing and further implement and enforce the Code; and additional steps to take to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

Protecting Nature's Perfect Food System

Dreibelbis, Carol, Blythe Thomas, and Sandy Remancus, Devex, March 2021
  • Food Systems
In addition to women’s time, energy, capacity, and skill, breastfeeding requires family, health facility, community, employer, and policy support. Sociocultural factors, health care practices and policies, paid leave policies and legislation, a lack of skilled support, and aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes all impact likelihood of breastfeeding. Greater investments to address these deficiencies will increase economic productivity and reduce health care costs.

IconKnowledge Management

Research Articles

The Lancet Breastfeeding Series

The Lancet Breastfeeding Series, January 2016
  • Knowledge Management
Papers describe global breastfeeding trends, short- and long-term health consequences for mother and child, determinants of breastfeeding, the impact of investment in breastfeeding, the effectiveness of promotion interventions, and the need for coordinated global action to address breast milk substitutes.

Reports and Tools

2021 World Health Day: Improve Global Breastfeeding Practices

La Leche League International and World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, April 2021
  • Knowledge Management
All actors should take a public health approach to strengthen the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and breastfeeding counseling, including during emergencies; implement maternal social protection that includes paid leave and workplace support in the formal and informal sectors; advocate for greater access to skilled breastfeeding counseling; and reinforce support for breastfeeding dyads by developing appropriate and consistent communication messages.

Breastfeeding in the 21st Century

World Health Organization, 2016
  • Knowledge Management
Countries need to invest in policies and programs that support women’s breastfeeding decisions. Promoting lactation-friendly employment conditions, and ensuring the availability of health services that support women and their families in breastfeeding, are particularly important.

Breastfeeding: Not Just Mom’s Job—How USAID Promotes and Protects Breastfeeding

USAID Advancing Nutrition, 2021
  • Knowledge Management
Optimal breastfeeding is one of the most powerful solutions to save the lives of infants and children. Improving breastfeeding extends beyond supporting the woman and child—requiring encouragement and support from skilled counselors, family members, health care providers, employers, policymakers, and others.

Feeding Young Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ensuring Their Future Growth and Development

United Nations Children’s Fund, April 2020
  • Knowledge Management
Healthy complementary feeding after 6 months of age requires foods from four food groups daily. In addition to breastfeeding, babies need 2–3 meals and one snack per day. Sugary snacks and formula are unhealthy options for young children.

USAID Breastfeeding: Providing a Healthy Start for a Healthy Future

USAID Advancing Nutrition, 2021
  • Knowledge Management
This one minute animated video discusses the benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mother. USAID has worked with partners for more than 40 years to promote breastfeeding in programs and policies, helping families chart productive and prosperous futures for their children, and supporting communities to thrive.

Events

Human Resources for Care of Small and Sick Newborns: The Role of Midwives and Nurses in Protecting, Promoting, and Supporting Breastfeeding

Care of the Small and Sick Newborn Community of Practice, August 2021
  • Knowledge Management
Midwives, nurses and physicians play a critical role in protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding in health facilities. Part of a series coordinated with the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and NEST360, this webinar highlights the experiences of practitioners in Nepal and Rwanda.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

Strengthening Nutrition Interventions in Antenatal Care Services Affects Dietary Intake, Micronutrient Intake, Gestational Weight Gain, and Breastfeeding in Uttar Pradesh, India: Results of a Cluster-Randomized Program Evaluation

Nguyen, Phuong H., Shivani Kachwaha, Lan M. Tran, et al. The Journal of Nutrition, May 2021
Nutrition-intensified antenatal care (ANC), which provides more home visits and counseling on core nutrition messages than traditional ANC programs, increased iron–folic acid and calcium supplement intake. It also increased exclusive breastfeeding, consumption of vitamin A–rich foods and other vegetables and fruits, and gestational weight gain. Behavior change requires strengthening the delivery and use of maternal nutrition services in ANC services.

A Systematic Review of Qualitative Research on Barriers and Facilitators to Exclusive Breastfeeding Practice in Sub-Saharan African Countries

Ejie, Izuchukwu Loveth, George Uchenna Eleje, Moriam Taiwo Chibuzor, et al. International Breastfeeding Journal, June 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Maternal employment is the greatest barrier to exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) while knowledge of the benefits of EBF is the greatest facilitator. Interventions focusing on these and other maternal-infant factors will optimize EBF and improve maternal-child health outcomes.

Reports and Tools

COVID Vaccines and Breastfeeding: What the Data Say

Nature, June 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Early research indicates that vaccines do not pass through breast milk—but antibodies do.

Gender Inclusivity is Not Gender Neutrality

Journal of Human Lactation, June 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Authors call for examining how the gendering of breastfeeding, infant feeding, caregiving, and nurturing align with the social distribution of power, authority, and resources in ways that reinforce gender inequality in political, economic, and social status.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

Breastfeeding Knowledge and Practices of Working Mothers in the Informal Economy in New Delhi: A Formative Study to Explore New Intervention Pathways towards Improved Maternal and Child Health Outcomes

Chowdhury, Antara Rai, Aditi Surie, and Gautam Bhan. Social Science & Medicine, July 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The conditions and nature of informal employment shape maternal and child health outcomes. Delaying the mother's return to work, increasing the proximity between mother and child, ensuring greater knowledge of breastfeeding and early childhood development practices, improving problem solving capacity and agency of the mother, and providing enabling home and workplace conditions are important interventions. This article is behind a paywall.

Characteristics Associated with the Transition to Partial Breastfeeding Prior to 6 Months of Age: Data from Seven Sites in a Birth Cohort Study

Richard, Stephanie A., Benjamin J. J. McCormick, Laura E. Murray-Kolb, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, March 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
A higher weight-for-length of the child, recent coughing, and food insecurity were associated with slower transition to partial breastfeeding, while a higher maternal depressive symptom score was associated with earlier transition to partial breastfeeding. Further research is needed to understand the relationships between local perceptions of infant body size and decisions about breastfeeding.

Effectiveness of Breastfeeding Support Packages in Low- and Middle-Income Countries for Infants under Six Months: A Systematic Review

Rana, Ritu, Marie McGrath, Ekta Sharma, et al. Nutrients, February 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Breastfeeding counseling and education support packages have the greatest impact on breastfeeding practices followed by breastfeeding training, promotion, and peer support. For at-risk infants, support packages need to be adapted and formally tested. Additional research should examine the impacts of breastfeeding support on anthropometry and morbidity.

Enablers and Barriers of Exclusive Breastfeeding among Employed Women in Low and Lower Middle-Income Countries

Gebrekidan, Kahsu, Ensieh Fooladi, Virginia Plummer, et al. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, October 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
To increase exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) among employed women, employers should offer flexible hours, at least six months maternity leave, and breastfeeding facilities. Identifying modifiable barriers and facilitators may contribute to successful EBF among employed women, thereby reducing mortality and morbidity. This article is behind a paywall.

Mapping Inequalities in Exclusive Breastfeeding in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, 2000–2018

Bhattacharjee, Natalia V., Lauren E. Schaeffer, Simon I. Hay, et al. Nature Human Behaviour, June 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Generating exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) prevalence estimates and assessing progress are critical to identify necessary policy and intervention efforts. Among 94 lower- and middle-income countries mapped to policy-relevant administrative units, only six are projected to meet the World Health Organization’s  ≥70 percent EBF prevalence target at the national scale and only three are on pace to meet the target in all district-level units by 2030.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Breastfeeding Protection, Promotion, and Support in Humanitarian Emergencies: A Systematic Review of Literature

Dall'Oglio, Immacolata, Francesca Marchetti, Rachele Mascolo, et al. Journal of Human Lactation, November 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
While Infant and Young Children Feeding in Emergency guidelines outline interventions to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, these recommendations are rarely applied. Research evaluating the influence of interventions aimed at improving breastfeeding in emergency settings is important to encourage and implement optimal breastfeeding practices. This article is behind a paywall.

Maternal and Child Factors Associated with Timely Initiation of Breastfeeding in Sub-Saharan Africa

Appiah, Francis, Bright Opoku Ahinkorah, Eugene Budu, et al. International Breastfeeding Journal, July 2021
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Timely initiation of breastfeeding was lower among married women, working women, women who watched television, women who delivered through caesarean section, and those with multiple births than among women who do not meet those criteria. Policies, behavioral change communication programs, and supportive care are critical to close gaps.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

The Quality of Maternal Nutrition and Infant Feeding Counselling during Antenatal Care in South Asia

Torlesse, Harriet, Rukundo K. Benedict, Hope C. Craig, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, February 2021
  • Social and Behavior Change
There are evidence gaps about the quality of maternal nutrition and infant feeding counseling during antenatal care and the effectiveness of approaches to improve quality. Research suggests that unequal access to services, limited capacity-strengthening opportunities for frontline workers, and the short duration and frequency of counseling contracts constrain quality. The format, duration, frequency, and content of health worker training, with supportive supervision, are probable approaches to improve quality.

Reports and Tools

Stronger With Breastmilk Only Initiative: Catalog of Resources

United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organization, and Alive & Thrive May 2021
  • Social and Behavior Change
The catalog provides strategic guidance and tools to design, implement, and monitor a “Stronger with Breastmilk Only” initiative and stresses that initiatives, regional advocacy, and communication products consider country context. It includes a guide for developing an evidence-driven social and behavioral change strategy. It is available in English and French.

Events

Getting Food Systems Right from the Start: How They are Failing Young Children and What We Can Do About It?

Deakin University, United Nations Children’s Fund, Alive & Thrive, Helen Keller International, and Feed the Truth, June 2021
  • Social and Behavior Change
Infant and young child feeding practices are normally seen as individual behavior health practices to be protected by health systems interventions. However, globalization of the baby food industry, and the shift of labor and production out of the home, has shaped feeding decisions. Preventing unethical formula marketing, reducing unhealthy ingredients in formula and complementary foods, and instituting marketing restrictions for unhealthy commercial products consumed by infants and young children are important interventions. This is a webinar.