UNICEF has been working in India since 1949. The largest UN organisation in the country, it is currently implementing a $400 million programme from 2003 to 2007. UNICEF is fully committed to working with the Government of India to ensure that each child born in this vast and complex country gets the best start in life, thrives and develops to his or her full potential.
Integrated Child Development Services
The Integrated Child Development Services Programme aims at providing services to pre-school children in an integrated manner so as to ensure
proper growth and development of children in rural, tribal and slum areas. ICDS is a centrally sponsored scheme.
BPNI (Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India) Maharashtra
BPNI is a registered, independent, non-profit, national organization that works towards protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding and
appropriate complementary feeding of infants and young children. BPNI believes that breastfeeding is the right of all mothers and children.
|Health Information For All by 2015
Every day, tens of thousands of children, women and men die needlessly for want of simple, low-cost interventions – interventions that are often already locally available. A major contributing factor is that the mother, family caregiver or health worker does not have access to the information and knowledge they need, when they need it, to make appropriate decisions and save lives.
HIFA2015 is a campaign and knowledge network with more than 4000 members
representing 1800 organisations
in 157 countries
worldwide. Members include health workers, publishers, librarians, information technologists, researchers, social scientists, journalists, policy-makers and others – all working together towards the HIFA2015 goal.
Worldwide Breastfeeding Resources
World Breastfeeding Week
1 to 7 August
World Breastfeeding Week — 1- 7 August 2013 — Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers
This year's World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme, 'Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers', highlights Breastfeeding Peer Counselling. Even when mothers are able to get off to a good start, all too often in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, and practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community support system for mothers is essential. Continued support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways. Traditionally, support is provided by the family. As societies change, however, in particular with urbanization, support for mothers from a wider circle is needed, whether it is provided by trained health workers, lactation consultants, community leaders, or from friends who are also mothers, and/or from fathers/partners.
The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is the greatest outreach vehicle for the breastfeeding movement, being celebrated in over 120 countries. Officially it is celebrated from 1–7 August. However, groups may choose other dates to make it a more successful event in their countries.
For more information on the theme, exciting activities & materials for download, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website.
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action [WABA]
WABA is a global network of organizations and individuals who believe breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers and who dedicate themselves to protect, promote and support this right. WABA acts on the Innocenti Declaration and works in liaison with UNICEF.
Low Birth-weight Babies
Labour and Birthing
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project maintains a collection of useful resources on maternal nutrition, infant and young child feeding, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and more. Our collection offers a variety of high-quality training materials, publications, web links, and other helpful resources.
Behavior change communication │
Complementary feeding │
General nutrition │
Infant feeding and emergencies │
Infant feeding and HIV │
Maternal nutrition │
Monitoring and evaluation│
Why Is Breastfeeding So Important?
Download .pdf 17.5 mb.
Breastfeeding provides the perfect nutrition for your baby and provides many health benefits for both mother and baby.
- Initiating breast feeding within the first hour and exclusive breastfeeding can prevent under two mortality.
- Breastfeeding: Exclusive breastfeeding
- Colostrum - Gift of a protective cover from the mother
- We believe all mothers know how to feed their child. But do they?
- Myths and facts about breast milk
- Complimentary feeding
- Role of media in promoting proper young child feeding: Media should focus on and promote measures that are required to be taken urgently to ensure the survival of children
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Publication Date: October, 2009
Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death among children under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhoea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Today, only 39 per cent of children with diarrhoea in developing countries receive the recommended treatment, and limited trend data suggest that there has been little progress since 2000.
The objective of this WHO/UNICEF report is to focus attention on the prevention and management of diarrhoeal diseases as central to improving child survival. It examines the latest available information on the burden and distribution of childhood diarrhoea. It also analyses how well countries are doing in making available key interventions proven to reduce its toll. Most importantly, it lays out a new strategy for diarrhoea control, one that is based on interventions drawn from different sectors that have demonstrated potential to save children's lives. It sets out a 7-point plan that includes a treatment package to reduce childhood diarrhoea deaths, as well as a prevention package to make a lasting reduction in the diarrhoea burden in the medium to long term.
Call to Action on diarrhoeal disease
With more resources and effective implementation of available health, water and sanitation solutions, we can save millions of children right now. That diarrhoea remains a leading cause of death among children around the world exemplifies the urgency of reinvigorating efforts to improve child health and human development.
Impact of early initiation of exclusive breastfeeding on newborn deaths Publication Date: January 8, 2010
This brief highlights results from two recent studies in Ghana and Nepal showing that initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour after birth could prevent about 20% of neonatal deaths. Potential reasons for this link, the importance of reducing neonatal mortality to achieve Millennium Development Goal #4, and program and policy implications are discussed.
Alive & Thrive focuses on three technical areas to save lives, improve health and nutrition, and reduce stunting.
1. Early initiation of breastfeeding (within the first hour of birth)
2. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life
3. Timely, adequate, and appropriate
Rapid advice: revised WHO principles and recommendations on infant feeding in the context of HIV – November 2009 28 pages 219 kb
On 30 November 2009, the eve of World AIDS Day, the WHO released new recommendations on treatment, prevention and infant feeding in the context of HIV, based on the latest scientific evidence.
The new recommendations call for earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for adults and adolescents, the delivery of more patient-friendly antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), and prolonged use of ARVs to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. And, for the first time, WHO recommends that HIV-positive mothers or their infants take ARVs while breastfeeding to prevent transmission.
Click here for the WHO announcement.
Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Continued Breastfeeding from 6–24 + Months: Issues, Politics, Policies & Action 6 pages 403 kb
The Joint Statement on Continued Breastfeeding was produced following the WABA GBPM in October 2008 in response to shared concerns that breastfeeding after 6 months has slipped off the policy and programme agenda. Action and investment in improving complementary feeding or providing foods supplements seems to be taking place with little consideration for supporting or improving breastfeeding amongst 6 < 24+ month old children, despite estimates that 20% of deaths in 12 < 24 month age group in developing countries are due to lack of breastfeeding. The statement calls upon everyone involved in improving the health and development of infants and young children to take steps to ensure that continued breastfeeding 6-24+ months is protected, promoted and supported as the precondition for, and foundation of, appropriate complementary feeding. Steps for action encompassing communication, education and promotion; practical support; breastfeeding as part of complementary feeding; definitions and monitoring; addressing misinformation through marketing and special circumstances are described.
Click here for the statement.
Mother and Infant: Early Emotional Tiess
This information is current as of March 8, 2007
Pediatrics 1998;102;1244-DOI: 10.1542/peds.102.5.SE1.1244
The original version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located at:
Recent behavioral and physiologic observations of infants and mothers have shown them ready to begin interacting in the first minutes of life. Included among these findings are the newborn infant's ability to crawl toward the breast to initiate suckling and mother-infant thermoregulation. The attachment felt between mother and infant may be biochemically modulated through oxytocin; encouraging attachment through early contact, suckling, and rooming-in has been shown to reduce abandonment.
In the past 10 years, several provocative behavioral and physiologic observations in both infants and mothers have altered our perception of their readiness to begin interacting in the first minutes of life. In addition, two simple interventions for mothers and their infants in the perinatal period have led to new insights into their relationship at the time of birth.
This report describes and integrates these new findings and observations and discusses how they will alter current caregiving practices in the perinatal period and their implications for additional research.
Effect of early infant feeding practices on infection-specific neonatal mortality: an investigation of the causal links with observational data from rural Ghana
Karen M Edmond, Betty R Kirkwood, Seeba Amenga-Etego, Seth Owusu-Agyei, and Lisa S Hurt
Beginning Breastfeeding From First Day of Life Reduces Infection Related Deaths in Newborns by 2.6 times.
Enough scientific evidence is available for the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. This is the first epidemiologic evidence of such a causal association between early breastfeeding and infection specific mortality in the newborn infants. Edmonds at al, in the October 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ( Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86: 1126 31), show that those newborns in Ghana, who initiated breastfeeding within 1 hour were less likely to die of neonatal sepsis than those who didn't. It is intuitively correct but this is the first time a study has demonstrated this with good data and specifically infection specific mortality.
Delayed Breastfeeding Initiation Increases Risk of Neonatal Mortality
Karen M. Edmond; Charles Zandoh; Maria A. Quigley; Seeba Amenga-Etego; Seth Owusu-Agyei and Betty R. Kirkwood
This information is current as of April 24, 2006
Pediatrics 2006;117;380-386 - DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-1496
The original version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located at:
Background: Breastfeeding promotion is a key child survival strategy. Although there is an extensive scientific basis for its impact on postneonatal mortality, evidence is sparse for its impact on neonatal mortality.
Objectives: We sought to assess the contribution of the timing of initiation of breastfeeding to any impact.
Evidence for the ten steps to successful breastfeeding (1998)
World Health Organization (WHO)
This document outlines the WHO/UNICEF-recommended ten steps to successful breastfeeding and provides rationale for their efficacy, as well as
advocacy and education approaches.
English 934 kb | Español 435 kb
Français 640 kb
The Effect of Skin-to-Skin Contact (Kangaroo Care) Shortly After Birth on the Neurobehavioral Responses of the Term Newborn: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
Sari Goldstein Ferber and Imad R. Makhoul
Pediatrics 2004;113;858-865 - DOI: 10.1542/peds.113.4.858
This information is current as of March 25, 2007
The original version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located at:
Background: The method of skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care [KC]) has shown physiologic, cognitive, and emotional gains for preterm infants; however, KC has not been studied adequately in term newborns.
Aims: To evaluate the effect of KC, used shortly after delivery, on the neurobehavioral responses of the healthy newborn.
Effect of the Baby-Friendly Initiative on Infant Abandonment in a Russian Hospital
Natalya M. Lvoff; Victor Lvoff, MF, PhD; Marshall H. Klaus, MD
Objective: To study whether early mother-infant contact with suckling and rooming-in reduces the rate of infant abandonment.
Design: The infant abandonment rate was studied at a Russian hospital before and after the introduction of early mother-infant contact with suckling and rooming-in.
Touch in Labor and Infancy: Parent-Child Touch as Innate
Recent clinical observations of early parent-neonate interactions have enabled researchers to "discover" specific patterns of touch that likely have been ingrained in humans for millennia. Many of these patterns are observable only when the parent and newborn are left alone in the first hours of life, uninterrupted by caregivers, medical protocols or other "modern" intrusions.
No Separation of Mother and Baby with Unlimited Opportunity for Breastfeeding
Lamaze International Education Council, Crenshaw Jeannette, RN, MSN, IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE, Phyllis H. Klaus, CSW, MFT, and Marshall H. Klaus, MD
In this position paper—one of six care practice papers published by Lamaze International and reprinted here with permission—the value of keeping mothers and their babies together from the moment of birth is discussed and presented as an evidenced-based practice that helps promote, protect, and support normal birth. The paper is written for childbearing women and their families. Babies held skin-to-skin with their mothers cry less often, breathe easier, and stay warmer than babies who are separated from their mothers. They also instinctively attach to the breast and begin breastfeeding, usually within one hour of birth. The advantages of rooming-in for mother and baby are also discussed. The accompanying commentary—written by two leading professionals in the field of maternity care and pediatrics—provides further evidence to support the practice of keeping mothers and their babies together after birth. Lamaze International encourages women to give birth in settings that do not separate mothers and babies after birth.
Facts for life: Breastfeeding (2006)
This document outlines the health benefits derived from breastfeeding practices.
Persistent diarrhoea and breastfeeding (1997)
WHO Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development
This document outlines the protective properties of breast milk, particularly its role in preventing acute diarrhea and reducing persistent diarrheal episodes among infants and young children up to two years of age.
English 2 mb
Breastfeeding counselling: A trainer's course; Director's guide (1993)
This resource is targeted toward health care workers for developing the clinical and interpersonal skills needed to support optimal breastfeeding practices.
English 608 kb
Guides for trainers and participants may be accessed online at www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/en/index.html
Facts for feeding (2006)
Linkages Project (gathered on Rehydration Projectwebsite)
This resource from the Rehydration Project offers publications on recommended feeding and dietary practices to improve nutritional status. Policy makers, health care providers, and communicators can use these guidelines for developing messages and activities appropriate to local conditions.
Appropriate use of human and non-human milk for the dietary management of children with diarrhoea (1991)
Brown K, Lake A. Journal of Diarrhoeal Disease Research. 9(3):168–185.
This paper reviews feeding practices for children with diarrhea and outlines risks associated with the use of non-human milk for feeding during gastrointestinal infection, including the potential for an increase in the severity and duration of illness.
Gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, and breastfeeding (1997)
Golding J, Emmett P, Rogers I. Early Human Development. 49(Suppl):S83–S103.
This literature review determined that exclusive breastfeeding provides a protective effect from gastroenteritis and diarrhea.
Human milk protection against infectious diarrhea: Implications for prevention and clinical care (2004)
Morrow A, Rangel J. Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 15:221-228.
This article provides an overview of the health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life, as well as its place in diarrhea prevention strategies.
Interventions for the control of diarrhoeal diseases in young children: Promotion of breastfeeding (1984)
Feachem R, Koblinsky M. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 62(2):271–291.
This review analyzed the relative risks of non-breastfed and breastfed infants suffering diarrheal episodes and found that breastfeeding has a protective effect in reducing diarrheal disease incidence. The authors support promotion of breastfeeding through educational outreach to mothers.
English 860 kb
Interventions for the control of diarrhoeal diseases in young children: Weaning education (1985)
Ashworth A, Feachem R. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 63(6):1115–1127.
This study evaluated whether education on weaning practices can improve nutritional status among children and therefore reduce diarrheal incidence and severity.
English 644 kb
Nutrient adequacy of exclusive breastfeeding for the term infant during the first six months of life (2002)
This document reviews the impact of exclusive breastfeeding in terms of infant growth, immune response, and neurodevelopment. Nutrients provided through breastfeeding are outlined, including zinc.
English 272 kb
Oral Aversion in the Breastfed Neonate
Linda Killion Healow, BSN, IBCLC and Rebecca Sliter Hugh, IBCLC
"Oral Aversion" (oral-tactile hypersensitivity) due to oral invasion of the neonate immediately after birth may very well be one of the causes of Lactation Failure.
(a newborn's mouth and feeding behavior must be treated with the utmost respect. While procedures such as inserting a feeding tube or suctioning a newborn may be necessary to provide quality health care, they are, nevertheless, invasive. And while any oral intervention is less than ideal, a procedure that is roughly done, however inadvertently, qualifies as an invasion. Some lactation consultants, faced with the challenges of persuading justifiably reluctant newborns to take the breast, have described this type of oral invasion as akin to rape)
The Effect of Timing of Cord Clamping on Neonatal Venous Hematocrit Values and Clinical Outcome at Term: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
José M. Ceriani Cernadas, Guillermo Carroli, Liliana Pellegrini, Lucas Otaño, Marina Ferreira, Carolina Ricci, Ofelia Casas, Daniel Giordano and Jaime Lardizábal
Pediatrics 2006;117;779-786; originally published online Mar 27, 2006;
Download file in 380 kb - 10 pages
The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on the World Wide Web at:
Background: The umbilical cord is usually clamped immediately after birth. There is no sound evidence to support this approach, which might deprive the newborn of some benefits such as an increase in iron storage.
Objectives: We sought to determine the effect of timing of cord clamping on neonatal venous hematocrit and clinical outcome in term newborns and maternal postpartum hemorrhage.
Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping on iron status in Mexican infants: a randomised controlled trial
Camila M Chaparro, Lynnette M Neufeld, Gilberto Tena Alavez, Raúl Eguia-Líz Cedillo, Kathryn G Dewey
Lancet June 17, 2006; 367: 1997–2004
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117 kb - 8 pages
Background: Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord increases the infant's iron endowment at birth and haemoglobin concentration at 2 months of age. We aimed to assess whether a 2-minute delay in the clamping of the umbilical cord of normal-weight, full-term infants improved iron and haematological status up to 6 months of age.
Methods: 476 mother-infant pairs were recruited at a large obstetrics hospital in Mexico City, Mexico, randomly assigned to delayed clamping (2 min after delivery of the infant's shoulders) or early clamping (around 10 s after delivery), and followed up until 6 months postpartum. Primary outcomes were infant haematological status and iron status at 6 months of age, and analysis was by intention-to-treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00298051.