How Does the United States Rank According to the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative?

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Abstract

The World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative is an assessment process designed to facilitate an ongoing national appraisal of progress toward the goals of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)/World Health Organization (WHO) Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. More than 80 countries have completed this national assessment, including the United States of America. This article describes the process undertaken by the US World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative team, the findings of the expert panel related to infant and young child feeding policies, programs, and practices and the ranking of the United States compared with the 83 other participating nations. Identified strengths of the United States include data collection and monitoring, especially by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and the United States Breastfeeding Committee. The absence of a national infant feeding policy, insufficient maternity protection, and lack of preparation for infant and young children feeding in emergencies are key targets identified by the assessment requiring concerted national effort.

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