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Stud Fam Plann. 1981 Apr;12(4):198-206.

Promoting breastfeeding: a national responsibility.



Discusses the rationale behind national scale programs to support breastfeeding; assesses the elements needed for successful supply and demand interventions; and examines the national strategies of Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, and Nicaragua, where breastfeeding programs appear likely to succeed. Governments can promote the health, economic, psychosocial, and contraceptive benefits of breastfeeding in the areas of medical training, public education, community mobilization, and national legislation. Supply and demand policies which influence the opportunity and motivation for individual women to breastfeed are tools available to national policymakers and health workers. Demand interventions are educational, but supply interventions are usually regulatory, require political commitment and a regulatory infrastructure, and must be well organized and monitored to be successful. Very few countries have adopted supply interventions since they are more politically risky and can affect powerful economic interests. Demand interventions involving education have been more common, while a few countries have legislated marketing regulations for sale of infant formula. Review of national efforts to promote breastfeeding suggests the need to combine both supply and demand interventions.

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