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Table 1 Key features of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding

From: Are our babies off to a healthy start? The state of implementation of the Global strategy for infant and young child feeding in Europe

• Improve – through optimal feeding – the nutritional status, growth and development, health, and thus the survival of infants and young children.
• Create an environment that will enable mothers, families and other caregivers, to make – and implement – informed choices about optimal feeding practices.
Operational targets:
• Appoint a national breastfeeding committee and coordinator.
• Ensure all maternity facilities implement the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).
• Expand the BFHI to include clinics, health centres and paediatric wards.
• Uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
• Protect and enforce the breastfeeding rights of working women.
• Regular monitoring of feeding practices.
• Develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a comprehensive IYCF policy.
• Protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.
• Promote timely, adequate, safe and appropriate complementary feeding.
• Provide guidance on IYCF in exceptionally difficult circumstances, e.g. natural catastrophes or in the setting of HIV.
• Ensure all those communicating with the general public, including educational and media authorities, provide accurate and complete information on IYCF.
• Ensure skilled counselling is provided to mothers by training health workers and revising pre-service curricula.
• Enable breastfeeding dyads to stay together during hospitalisation.
• Develop community-based IYCF support networks, e.g. mother-to-mother support groups.