WBTi indicators

WBTi – Ten indicators of policy and programme

1. National Policy, Programme and Coordination: Countries without a comprehensive policy on infant and young child feeding, spearheaded by a national coordinator, make less progress.

2. Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, or Baby Friendly Initiative: Breastfeeding rates have been shown to be higher among babies born in Baby-Friendly hospitals than among babies born in other hospitals.

3. Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes: Clever slogans, striking images, giving out of free samples or supplies, and all kinds of attractive gifts have been used to persuade mothers, health professionals and workers that bottle feeding is as good as breastfeeding. The provisions of the Code and WHA resolutions need to be enacted in national legislation and fully enforced.

4. Maternity Protection in the Workplace: One of the most common reasons mothers give for stopping breastfeeding is because they have to return to paid employment; women need adequate paid maternity leave and breastfeeding breaks in the workplace.

5. Health and Nutrition Care System (in support of breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding)Health professional training in breastfeeding.

6. Mother Support and Community Outreach: Community-based support for the pregnant and breastfeeding mother: access to mother support groups and other community support.

7. Information Support: Comprehensive national information, education and communication strategy with accurate information on infant and young child feeding, at every level from national to local facility, community and family.

8. Infant Feeding and HIV: Policies and programmes to support HIV+ mothers in their feeding decisions supported by up to date evidence (WHO Guidelines on HIV and infant feeding 2010)

9. Infant Feeding during Emergencies: In disaster situations it is difficult to use formula and bottles safely. Disasters and emergencies can happen in any country; the best preparation is good breastfeeding practices.

10. Mechanisms of Monitoring and Evaluating Systems: Are monitoring and evaluation data regularly collected and used to improved infant and young child feeding practices?

WBTi – Five indicators of practice

11. Percentage of babies breastfed within one hour of birth

12. Percentage of babies 0-6 months of age exclusively breastfed in the last 24 hours

13. Median duration of breastfeeding in months

14. Percentage of breastfed babies less than 6 months old receiving other foods or drinks from bottles

15. Percentage of breastfed babies receiving complementary foods at 6-9 months of age