How to Accelerate the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in West and Central Africa: Leveraging experiences from Southeast Asia
There is considerable evidence that implementing the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding through national health systems significantly improves breastfeeding rates. WHO and UNICEF have called upon all facilities providing maternity and newborn services to implement the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding worldwide.
On August 22, stakeholders from across West and Central Africa, participated in a webinar to discuss updated global guidance regarding the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding, an approach innovated by partners, including Alive & Thrive, in Southeast Asia, to accelerate the 10 Steps.
The Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding approach provides countries with a comprehensive, practical package of tools to scale up the 10 Steps nationally. Maternities and health facilities receive the Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding designation when they create a breastfeeding-friendly environment. This includes promoting skin-to-skin contact for newborns, ensuring that mothers can successfully initiate early breastfeeding, rooming-in and encouraging mothers to breastfeed exclusively, whether they give birth vaginally or by cesarean section.