Indicators for assessing breastfeeding practices
An informal meeting convened by the WHO Division of Diarrhoeal and Acute Respiratory Disease Control on behalf of the Organization's Working Group on Infant Feeding1 was held on 11-12 June 1991, at WHO headquarters in Geneva. The purpose of the meeting was to reach a consensus on the definitions of key breastfeeding indicators and specific methodologies for their measurement. In addition to the WHO participants, the meeting was attended by representatives of UNICEF, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) Program of the Institute for Resource Development/Macro International Inc., who had played an important role in developing the proposed indicators. The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) was also invited but was unable to send a participant.
This report summarizes the discussion and consensus reached on breastfeeding indicators derived from household survey data. No consensus was reached on proposed breastfeeding indicators to be measured through enquiries at health facilities. It was agreed that this topic required further discussion, bearing in mind, for example, the monitoring of the "Ten steps to successful breastfeeding".