UNICEF/WHO Global Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative

This presentation was originally presented at the 21st Annual International Meeting of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Hypertension affects nearly one of three women in the United States. Breastfeeding leads to metabolic changes that could reduce risks of hypertension. Hypertension disproportionately affects black women, but rates of breastfeeding lag behind the general population. In the Black Women’s Health Study (N = 59,001), we conducted a nested case control analysis using unconditional logistic regression to estimate the association between breastfeeding and incident hypertension at ages 40-65. Controls were frequency matched 2:1 to 12,513 hypertensive cases by age and questionnaire cycle. Overall, there was little evidence of association between ever-breastfeeding and incident hypertension (Odds ratio 0.97, 95% CI: 0.92, 1.02). However, age modified the relationship (P = 0.02): breastfeeding was associated with reduced risk of hypertension at ages 40-49 (Odds ratio 0.92, 95% CI: 0.85, 0.99) but not older ages. Our results suggest long-duration breastfeeding may reduce incident hypertension in middle age.

This lecture just offers CERPs, if you are looking for CME,CNE credits please purchase The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Lecture Package.

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UNICEF/WHO Global Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative

Maaike Arts is Nutrition Specialist (IYCN) with UNICEF New York. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Maaike joined UNICEF in 1996 and worked with UNICEF in Pakistan, Honduras, Viet Nam and Mozambique. Maaike also worked with the International Babyfood Action Network (IBFAN) in The Netherlands and with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) in Mozambique. Maaike’s main area of work has been Nutrition, and she also worked in the areas of HIV and AIDS and Early Childhood Care. She joined UNICEF New York HQ in August 2014.

Objective 1:Describe global breastfeeding rates
Objective 2: Describe in which way mothers need support to breastfeeding
Objective 3: Describe the work of the Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative


Breastfeeding ensures a healthy start in life and makes economic sense. Infants under 6 months should be exclusively breastfed, yet only 37% do. In low and middle income countries, this is 43%. The global target is to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months to at least 50%. Mothers need support to breastfeed. A UNICEF report showed that early initiation of breastfeeding was not facilitated by the presence of a doctor, nurse or midwife.

The Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative’s (BAI), established in 2014, is led by UNICEF and WHO and has 18 member organizations. The Initiative advocates for increased political commitment to and investment for breastfeeding. The BAI has crafted a Call to Action, successfully leveraged strategic advocacy opportunities and developed a communication plan based on audience research. The BAI appeals to members to participate actively in the work, and to non-members to consider joining the Initiative.

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Breastfeeding and Lactation

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