The WBTi focuses on 10 key indicators from the evidence-based strategies in the WHO Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding and the Innocenti Declaration, which are described in the 2008 Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding in Europe: a blueprint for action and in Infant and Young Child Feeding: Standard Recommendations for the European Union.
The WBTi report is a valuable tool to assist governments to target scarce resources more effectively. About 100 countries are already participating in the WBTi; the latest reports and details are available online at www.worldbreastfeedingtrends.org.
Currently 11 European countries are engaging in the WBTi process. WHO Europe has recently released a statement saying: “Significant achievements in maternal and newborn health in the WHO European Region include better attitudes towards pregnant women, respectful collaboration and active engagement of women in decision-making during pregnancy and birth and better quality of care. However, the Region has the lowest breastfeeding rates of all the WHO regions.” http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Life-stages/maternal-and-newborn-health/news/news/2015/08/who-european-region-has-lowest-global-breastfeeding-rates
Breastfeeding has been shown to be one of the most effective, and cost effective, early interventions for physical and emotional health, and a powerful strategy to reduce health inequalities, but the UK has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe (see the Breastfeeding Supplement from the 1001 Critical Days http://www.1001criticaldays.co.uk/news_detail.php?id=49)
Even in a developed country like the UK, poor breastfeeding practices are costing at least £40 million a year in increased health costs
Research shows that improved implementation of these ten strategies is associated with increased breastfeeding rates.
Lutter and Morrow 2013 Protection, promotion, and support and global trends in breastfeeding. Adv Nutr. 2013 Mar 1; 4 (2):213-9. 10.3945/an.112.003111.
WBTi UK http://www.lcgb.org/wbti/
World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative http://worldbreastfeedingtrends.org/
WHO Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding
European Blueprint for Breastfeeding
Standard recommendations for the European Union
Save the Children report ‘Breastfeeding: Policy Matters’ http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/docs/Breastfeeding_Policy_Matters.pdf