Scotland is ripe to scale up promotion, protection and support for breastfeeding, scoring 2.4 out of 3 on the overall Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly (BBF) Index.
The country launched the evidence-based BBF process in 2018 to identify its strengths and actions it could take to increase national breastfeeding rates. Because even after improvements over 20 years, the number of infants being breastfed – or breastfed exclusively – is still below international recommendations. Inequities also persist according to mothers’ ages, ethnicities, deprivation levels and geographic locations.
Scotland’s strengths were revealed as Political Will, Funding and Resources, Training and Programme Delivery, Research and Evaluation and Coordination, and Goals and Monitoring.
The BBF team recommended three key steps to move ahead:
1. Reinforcing political will for breastfeeding, evidenced by sustained effective leadership, strong policies and significant investment.
2. Strengthening and coordinating breastfeeding messages across Scotland, especially among government, health services and the third sector.
3. Promoting a supportive return to the work environment, for instance via employer guidelines.
Find details in this open access article, just published by Maternal & Child Nutrition: 'Implementing the Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly initiative in Scotland'.
FLRF is a proud supporter of the Scottish BBF Committee, through the Yale School of Public Health.
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