Infant and young child feeding: standard recommendations for the European Union

Közlemény típusa:






breastfeeding, childbirth, complementary feeding, exclusive breastfeeding, first days, infant, infant-feeding, pregnancy, recommendation


These standard best practice recommendations on infant and young child feeding have been developed within the European Commission funded project EUNUTNET (European Network for Public Health Nutrition: Networking, Monitoring, Intervention and Training) to complement the Blueprint for Action for the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding in Europe, the result of a previous European Commission funded project. A common set of European best practice recommendations has many advantages: health professionals moving from one country to another will not need to change their practices; it will be possible to share resources, especially for planning, teaching and research; there will be a common basis for data collection and programme evaluation; harmonization and enforcement of marketing regulations will be facilitated. The recommendations are based on a large body of evidence published by United Nations agencies, governments, researchers, professional associations and non-governmental organizations. They also take into account the Convention on the Rights of the Child when it recognizes, in Article 24, the important role breastfeeding plays in the achievement of the child’s right to the highest attainable standard of health. The recommendations consist of standard practice guidelines organised in a life cycle pattern: before pregnancy, in pregnancy, at childbirth, in the first few days of life, in the first month, between one and six months, and after six months. They also include guidelines for pre-term and low birth weight infants and on breastfeeding and young child feeding friendly environments.

The recommendations end with four annexes. These present a supportive standard policy and give details on situations where breastfeeding may be contraindicated, on the risks of a decision not to breastfeed, and on safe alternative feeding. These recommendations, once published and launched, will be offered to relevant national associations, organizations and government bodies as a guide to professional practice in Europe. The recommendations have already been endorsed by many European and international professional associations, by relevant non-governmental organizations, and by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe.